#543 Florida Atlantic University Owlsvs.#544 University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners
Thursday, January 1 2017, at 8:00pm EST
Written by David Hess
FAU Owls (5-9 SU, 6-5-0 ATS, 5-5-1 OU) vs UTSA Roadrunners (7-9 SU, 5-4-0 ATS, 4-5-0 OU)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 12, 2017
Where: UTSA Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas
Lines: UTSA -3.5
Tonight within Conference U.S.A the Florida Atlantic Owls will grapple with UTSA Roadrunners at the UTSA Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Owls have struggled out the gate, but they are off a 73-64 home win over FIU, while the Roadrunners have won four of their last five games, including a 69-68 road win over Louisiana Tech in their last game. FAU has won the last three games between these teams.
The FAU Owls have not had a good start to tehri year as they are 5-9 and have gone just 1-2 in league play so far. Their lone conference win so far was in their last game as they topped FIU by a score of 73-64 at home. The Owls have not been a very good offensive team this year, but they did put up 73 points in the win and on a very solid 47.25 shooting. This has not been a good shooting team at all, so that was big for them. Leading the attack was Nick Rutherford, who had 14 points, while Adonis Filer had 13, Justin Massey had 12 and Jailyn Ingram had 10. Balanced scoring for those four. This has been a balanced offensive team this year as eight players average 6.5 ppg to 10.6 ppg. Leading their attack this year has been Filer, who has averaged 10.6 ppg, while Massey is 2nd at 10.3 ppg and 3rd is Ronald Delph at 10.3 ppg. They could use more scoring overall, but most teams would love to have the balance that they do.
The Owls check in at 246th in the nation in scoring, putting up 71.3 ppg, while also ranking 291st in FG% (41.8%), 223rd in 3-point shooting (34.1%) and 170th in free throw shooting (69.7%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been average as they come in ranked 175th in points allowed, giving up 71.8 ppg, while also ranking 169th in defensive FG% (43.0%) and 279th in 3-point defense (36.8%).
The UTSA Roadrunners did not have a great start to their year, but they are playing far better of late as they have won five of their last seven games and are 2-1 out the gate in Conference U.S.A. The Roadrunners trailed the game by 14 with 17 minutes to play, but were able to fight and claw back for the thrilling one-point win. That was just the Bulldogs’ 4th loss in their last 77 home games. Leading the charge for the Roadrunners was Jeff Beverly, who had 27 points and eight board in the win. He is the team’s leading scorer this year at 16.0 ppg. Also scoring in double-figures for UTSA was Gino Littles, who had 13 points and Giovanni De Nicolao, who had 11 points. The Roadrunners shot just 44.3% from the field overall and just 25.% from long range, but they also outrebounded the Bulldogs by 10 and held them to just 40% shooting overall, including just 26.9% from long range. Nick Billingsley is the 2nd leading scorer on the team at 11.1 ppg, but he is listed as questionable, due to academic issues.
UTSA enters the game ranked 310th in the nation in scoring, putting up 66.4 ppg, while also ranking 335th in FG% (39.3%), 340th in 3-point shooting (28.9%) and 268th in free throw shooting (66.1%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been decent as they come in ranked 119th in points allowed, giving up 69.4 ppg, while also ranking 124th in defensive FG% (41.9%) and 74th in 3-point defense (31.9%).
This is a tough one. Neither team is having a good year so far and neither will probably have good years overall. The Owls have gone 1-3 on the road this year, while the Roadrunners have gone 6-0 at home and they have been playing better of late as they have won four of their last five games. The road runners have just come off a confidence-building win over LA Tech on the road in a game that they were down by 14 in the 2nd half. It was also just the 4th time in their last 77 home games that the Bulldogs tasted defeat. Take the Roadrunners to win this game by at least seven points.
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