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FIU (14-16) at Florida Atlantic (10-20)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: FAU Arena (5,000) -- Boca Raton, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: FIU 9-6, FAU 7-7. Away Record: FIU 4-8, FAU 3-11. Neutral Record: FIU 1-2, FAU 0-2. Conference Record: FIU 6-9, FAU 5-10. Series Record: Series is tied, 16-16.

GAME NOTES: The Florida Atlantic Owls will try to end the regular season on a positive note as they host in-state rival FIU in a Conference USA clash at FAU Arena.

FAU has lost five straight games as it gets set for its regular-season finale. Long losing stretches are nothing new to the Owls, who are just 10-20 overall and 5-10 in league play. All they can do in this game, aside from ending the losing streak, is put themselves in a slightly better position for the upcoming C-USA Tournament.

This is the last game of the year for FIU, which is ineligible for the conference tournament this season, its first as a member of C-USA. The Panthers' opening run through the league has earned them mixed results, as they are 14-16 overall and 6-9 in conference.

A 66-57 victory for FAU earlier this season evened the all-time series at 16-16.

The Panthers had fallen in four straight games before their latest bout, which ended in a 73-47 rout of Tulane in their home finale. Rakeem Buckles finished with 20 points and 13 points to lead the way for FIU, which shot 50 percent from the floor, including a 9-of-18 showing from 3-point range.

The offensive end of the floor has caused problems for FIU this season, as the Panthers are only scoring 68.5 ppg, while shooting just below 45 percent from the floor. A major area of weakness is in moving the ball, with the Panthers 12th in C-USA in assists (10.9 apg). The Panthers' strength lies in the frontcourt, where Tymell Murphy (16.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Buckles (13.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg) lead the charge, although Buckles can step out and hit shots from the perimeter as well. Dennis Mavin (11.5 ppg) is only a 37.5 percent shooter, but he is the most productive player in the backcourt.

FAU was not as fortunate as FIU in its last contest, as the Owls lost to league-leading Southern Miss in a 60-49 final. Justin Raffington scored a team-high 14 points to lead four players in double figures, but FAU only connected on 29.6 percent of its field goal attempts.

Like the Panthers, the Owls do not score or move the ball well. They rank 13th in the conference in scoring (66.4 ppg), 12th in field goal percentage (.424) and 11th in assists (12.1 apg). Hurting their cause even more late in the season is an injury to leading scorer Pablo Bertone (18.9 ppg), who missed the Southern Miss game with a strained quadriceps. He is listed as questionable for this matchup. Marquan Botley (10.3 ppg) and Raffington (10 ppg, 8.6 rpg) are the Owls' best hopes on offense if their star is sidelined again.

With Bertone's status up in the air it is difficult to see how the Owls will be able to put up enough of a fight on offense, even at home, to get past a healthy FIU squad.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: FIU 69, Florida Atlantic 65

03/06 10:33:03 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
 
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
 
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
 
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
 
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
 
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
3rd
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
Half
WASU 16
ARZ 31
 
2nd
CLEM 0
SYR 3
 
2nd
LAMON 6
TXST 0
 
2nd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 14
 
2nd
COLST 10
WYO 3
 
1st
LSU 0
MISS 0
 
1st
TENN 0
ALA 6
 
1st
AUB 0
SCAR 7
 
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
1st
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
1st Intermission
NYI 2
DAL 1
 
1st Intermission
PHI 0
DET 1
 
1st
OTT 0
NJD 0
 
1st
MON 1
NYR 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14