Florida Atlantic (10-11) at Arkansas State (11-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: ASU Convocation Center (10,038) -- Jonesboro, Arkansas. Television: CSS, Sun Belt Network. Home Record: FAU 6-2, ASU 8-2. Away Record: FAU 3-8, ASU 3-6. Neutral Record: FAU 1-0, ASU 0-0. Conference Record: FAU 5-5, ASU 5-5. Series Record: Florida Atlantic leads, 5-4.
GAME NOTES: The Red Wolves of Arkansas State entertain the Florida Atlantic Owls in a Sun Belt Conference tilt at the ASU Convocation Center.
The Owls come into this contest having lost their last two decisions, most recently to UALR in a 65-62 final on Thursday. The two defeats were by a total of six points, including an overtime affair versus North Texas.
After falling to Troy, 74-67, in overtime on Wednesday night, the Red Wolves have now lost three of their last four games.
FAU has a 5-4 lead in the all-time series which started in the 2006-07 season. ASU is 3-1 at home against the Owls, but FAU is 4-1 in the last five meetings, which includes a 72-65 home decision over ASU earlier this season.
The Owls lost 65-62 on the road loss to UALR on Thursday night. Freshman guard Stefan Moody led FAU in the setback at UALR with a game-high tying 24 points, while senior guard Greg Gantt tallied 13 points. The Owls were paced in rebounding by senior forward Jordan McCoy's seven boards.
Gantt leads the Owls in scoring, putting up 22.0 ppg, which ranks first in the conference and fifth in the nation. Moody is second at 14.8 ppg. In rebounding, McCoy (5.9 rpg.) and Gantt (4.8 rpg.) lead the way, while sophomore forward Kelvin Penn (2.5 bpg.) is tops in blocked shots. FAU ranks first in the conference and 22nd nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.387), and first in the SBC and 34th in the nation in blocked shots (5.1 bpg.). The Owls are also second in the conference in field goal defense (.410) and 3-point field goal defense (.306).
Troy's Emil Jones made a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go in regulation to force overtime, and the Trojans would go to hand ASU a 74-67 loss on Thursday night. Freshman guard Cameron Golden recorded a game-high 18 points, hitting 6-of-9 triples, while senior forward Brandon Peterson notched his seventh double-double of this season with 15 points and a game-best 12 rebounds. Ed Townsel added 14 and freshman guard-forward Raeford Worsham produced 12 points off the bench.
Townsel is the main scoring threat for the Red Wolves, averaging 15.4 ppg, which places him fourth in the league. Townsell is also tied for third in steals (1.9 spy). Peterson is averaging 11.2 ppg, to go along with his 9.6 rpg, which is third in the conference. ASU can also play a little defense, holding opponents to 64.1 ppg, which is good enough for second in the league. The team also ranks first in the SBC (and 12th in the nation) in steals (9.7 spg) and turnover margin (+3.63), and second in scoring margin (+5.0).
Both teams come into this matchup even at 5-5 in conference play. Gantt is the league's best scorer and FAU should have enough additional weapons to assist him to take down the Red Wolves.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida Atlantic 67, Arkansas State 60
01/26 10:44:03 ET