Florida Atlantic (1-2) at Elon (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 18, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gym (1,607) -- Elon, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: FAU 0-0, Elon 2-0. Away Record: FAU 0-2, Elon 0-1. Neutral Record: FAU 1-0, Elon 0-0. Conference Record: FAU 0-0, Elon 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Elon Phoenix and Florida Atlantic Owls will battle it out in the regional final of the Maui Invitational, as the two teams square off on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gym.
The Owls may have bit off more than they could chew to start the season, with road matchups against big-time programs in nationally-ranked North Carolina and Mississippi State. The result was a pair of losses by at least 20 points. FAU was finally able to find its way into the win column on Saturday however, against Coppin State in this event, with a hard-fought 64-61 victory.
Meanwhile, Elon dropped its season-opener on the road at perennial mid-major power Butler (74-59), but has since won two straight, crushing Bridgewater (95-51), before edging out Colgate (81-72) in Saturday's regional action of this event.
This marks the first time these two teams have met on the hardwood.
The Owls used stifling defensive play to build a huge lead over Coppin State, before the Eagles came roaring back to tie things up at 61-61. However, FAU made more plays down the stretch to earn the its first win of the year. A pair of freshmen led the way for FAU as Stefan Moody and Jackson Trapp finished with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Senior Jordan McCoy added 10 points, while fellow senior Greg Gantt chipped in with seven points, while grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds.
Through three games, it is Gantt leading the team in scoring at 14.0 ppg. Moody is also in double digits at 11.3 ppg, but the young guard has been careless at times with the ball, guilty of a team-high 13 turnovers thus far. The Owls haven't really excelled at the offensive end at just 59.3 ppg, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that the team started out with games against North Carolina and Mississippi State.
Lucas Troutman was unstoppable down low for Elon against Colgate, leading the team with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots in the win. Austin Hamilton had a strong game as well, finishing with 15 points and six assists, while Jack Isenbarger and Tanner Samson chipped in 12 points apiece.
Through three games, Elon has shown signs of offensive proficiency, shooting a healthy .465 from the floor en route to 77.0 ppg. Ryley Beaumont is the team's top scoring threat in the early going at 14.0 ppg. Sebastian Koch is a close second at 13.5 ppg, followed by Troutman (12.0 ppg) and Isenbarger (111.5 ppg).
The Owls have played the tougher competition, but the Phoenix get this one at home and should be able to earn the win with another balanced offensive effort.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Elon 65, Florida Atlantic 61
11/18 10:48:16 ET