Pablo Bertone has twice set a career high in scoring against Troy. (OwlAccess.com file photo)
Florida Atlantic is still looking for consistent play. A victory over WKU in the Owls' previous outing along with a win over Troy earlier this season could foreshadow some momentum for the Owls.
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A young, inexperienced basketball team will frequently have its ups and downs.
In FAU's cause, look no further than last week.
After getting beaten badly by a Middle Tennessee team that is the best the Sun Belt has to offer, FAU turned around and beat arguably the conference's second-best team, Western Kentucky, two nights later on the Hilltoppers home court.
"It's a very inconsistent team," FAU coach Mike Jarvis said. "Part of that is because of our youth and part of that is because some of our guys' skill level is not where it needs to be yet."
Greg Gantt continues to score at an unprecedented pace for the Owls and Stefan Moody has rounded back into double-digit form following his three-game suspension for a violation of team rules.
One noticeable difference in the win over Western Kentucky was that the duo finally had some scoring help. Junior Pablo Bertone added 15 points in the victory over the Hilltoppers.
Bertone's enjoyed a few good scoring games in recent outings but, like the Owls', his overall play has been inconsistent.
"He's scoring the ball well. If Pablo could dribble less and take a little better care of the ball he'd play more," Jarvis said. "Two for us and two for them is zero. I need him to take care of the basketball better."
If Bertone can limit the turnovers, he could be in for another good scoring night against Troy. The junior recorded 21 points in the Owls' victory over the Trojans earlier this year. That better his previous career high of 20 set against Troy last season.
"The good thing is that we're starting to get consistent on the defensive side," Bertone said.
A victory over Troy on Thursday would put FAU back above the .500 mark on the season and would push the Owls to two games over .500 in Sun Belt play.
The victory over WKU gave FAU some added confidence. Momentum could begin to build if the Owls apply the lessons learned in their victory at Troy a few weeks back.
"It means you should be able to handle them at home but it doesn't always end up that way," Jarvis said. "You have to play well. I think if we play well we'll beat them."
Troy (7-10, 2-4 Sun Belt)
at FAU (9-9, 4-3 Sun Belt)
About the Trojans: Troy has won two straight, including a nine point victory over Louisiana-Monroe in its last outing. ...Antoine Myers scored 18 points against FAU in the teams' first meeting. ...The Trojans are averaging only 10.4 turnovers per game - sixth fewest in the country. ...The Trojans are the worst shooting team in the Sun Belt, connecting on only 38.7 percent of their field goals.
About the Owls: Guard Rich Morrow has returned to practice but Jarvis still expects the concussion-like symptoms he's suffering to keep him from playing against Troy and against North Texas on Saturday. ...Two additional blocks were added to Kelvin Penn's stat sheet against WKU, giving him seven for the night. He leads the Sun Belt with 2.7 blocks per game. He's currently ranked 19th in the nation. ...FAU outrebounded Troy 46-33 in the first meeting. ...Before the start of the game FAU will recognize Greg Gantt's accomplishment of becoming FAU's all-time leading scorer.