Troy (9-17) at Florida Atlantic (11-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 25th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: FAU Arena (5,000) -- Boca Raton, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: Troy 6-7, FAU 6-4. Away Record: Troy 3-10, FAU 4-11. Neutral Record: Troy 0-0, FAU 1-2. Conference Record: Troy 4-11, FAU 7-8. Series Record: Florida Atlantic leads, 78-60.
GAME NOTES: The Florida Atlantic Owls will try to avoid heading into the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on a four-game losing streak, as they entertain the Troy Trojans tonight in the regular-season finale at FAU Arena in Boca Raton.
Troy is sporting a lackluster 9-17 overall record and it has fared even worse on the road, winning just three of 13 games away from Trojan Arena. It is just 4-11 in the Sun Belt, tied with FIU for last place in the East Division. The Trojans had lost six of their previous seven before beating the Golden Panthers in overtime on Thursday, 75-70.
Florida Atlantic has also had a disappointing season with an 11-17 record, but the team has found some success in conference play, owning a 7-8 league ledger. After winning seven of their previous 11 games however, the Owls have gone cold at the worst possible time, losing three in a row, the most recent of which being a 79-76 overtime setback against South Alabama on Thursday.
FAU has taken three straight from Troy, including an 88-67 blowout victory on January 19 at Trojan Arena. With that win, the Owls' improved their lead in the all-time series to 78-60.
Though Troy came away with the win on Thursday, it shot just 41 percent from the field and continued to launch three-point bombs, logging 27 long-range attempts and making just eight. The Trojans' three-point accuracy hasn't been all that special this season, ranking sixth in the conference at 34 percent, but they rank second in three-pointers made (231) and ninth nationally in attempts from beyond the arc (680). Emil Jones paced the squad in the recent win by tallying 17 points and six rebounds. Will Weathers dished out seven assists, adding to his league-leading 5.8 apg average. Weathers also leads the team in scoring at 11.4 ppg, though Justin Wright (10.6 ppg), Alan Jones (10 ppg) and Emil Jones (9.9 ppg) all contribute to an offense that ranks third in the SBC in scoring (70.5 ppg). Troy's effort at the defensive end has been anything but a plus, as it allows a conference-worst 75.1 ppg.
Greg Gant scored 21 points and Shavar Richardson added 20 more, but Florida Atlantic could not overcome 48.1 percent shooting from South Alabama as it fell to the Jaguars in overtime, 79-76. The Owls rank eighth in the Sun Belt in field goal percentage (.411), and though their 42.4 percent showing on Thursday night was a slight improvement, it's still not impressive enough to be able to win on a consistent basis. Gantt is the Owls' leading scorer, and he ranks seventh in the Sun Belt with 13.8 ppg, and eighth in three-pointers made (52). Raymond Taylor adds 9.4 ppg and 4.6 apg, though he shoots a dreadful 33.6 percent from the floor. FAU generally takes good care of the basketball, as it has a turnover margin of +1.86.
Florida Atlantic has been solid in front of the home fans, winning six of 10 in Boca Raton, and it should be able to go into the conference tournament on a winning note by beating lowly Troy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida Atlantic 78, Troy 72
02/25 10:45:37 ET