UAB (14-8) at Florida Atlantic (8-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: FAU Arena (5,000) -- Boca Raton, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: UAB 11-2, FAU 6-4. Away Record: UAB 2-4, FAU 2-9. Neutral Record: UAB 1-2, FAU 0-2. Conference Record: UAB 3-5, FAU 3-5. Series Record: UAB leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The UAB Blazers have made the trek to Boca Raton to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls in a Conference USA matchup on Saturday evening.
UAB comes into the contest having lost its last two, Most recently, the Blazers fell on Thursday night at FIU, 78-73. They are just 5-5 in their last 10 outings.
FAU lost at home to Middle Tennessee, also on Thursday, 67-63. The Owls have now dropped three of their last four.
The teams have met just once previously, a 76-43 victory by the Blazers back on Dec. 22, 2008.
Chad Frazier had 23 points and five assists for the Blazers, while C.J. Washington tallied 19 points and Fahro Alihodzic logged 10 in the recent loss to FIU. Robert Williams cleared seven boards. UAB made 43.8 percent of its field goal attempts in the opening half as it led 32-27 at intermission. FIU connected on just 34.8 percent of its shots from the floor, had nine fewer field goal attempts, and turned the ball over nine times. In a back-and-forth second period, the Panthers drained 59.4 percent of their shots from the field. After tying the game at 60-60 with 4:01 left, FIU went on a 9-2 run to create some room in the final minutes.
UAB is second in the nation in rebounding with 46.1 rpg. Frazier and Washington, who are both first-year junior college transfers, have combined to lead UAB in scoring in 20 of its 22 games this season, averaging 18.1 ppg and 14.5 ppg, respectively, with Frazier upping that to 19 ppg in conference play, tops in C-USA. Rucker joins the duo in double figures with 10.8 ppg, which he has accompanied with 7.2 rpg.
In the loss to Middle Tennessee, Marquan Botley led the Owls with 19 points and five assists. Pablo Betrone went 5-of-13 from the field en route to 17 points and Jackson Trapp netted 11. Justin Raffington pulled down a game-high 10 boards in the setback. The Blue Raiders led 60-51 with 2:34 left in regulation before the Owls rallied back to make it a one-point game with 11 seconds showing on the clock, but they could not complete the comeback. Middle Tennessee scored 38 points in the paint compared to only 14 by FAU. The Owls did outscore the visitors, 30-9, from behind the 3-point line.
Although Raffington is pacing the league in C-USA play with 10.9 rpg, Betrone is the clear leader of the squad. The 6-4 guard is clocking a career-high 33.8 minutes per game and pacing the conference with 18.2 ppg, which is nearly double his scoring average from the 2012-13 campaign. Sophomore guard Trapp is the Owls' third-leading scorer at 9.9 ppg, but he has been held to eight points or less in five consecutive games and is shooting only 11-of-36 from the field during that span.
The Blazers are a different team on the road and the Owls have the league's top scorer in Bertone, so look for the home squad to come away with the win here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida Atlantic 74, UAB 69
02/08 10:37:51 ET