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Jordan McCoy is coming off two of his best games of the season. The senior says the Owls are starting to pul themselves together. (OwlAccess.com file photo)

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Turning point?

Despite losing six of their last seven games, FAU coach Mike Jarvis says his Owls are finally playing the way he wants them to and are primed to make a late season run.

Originally published on 2/13/2013

by Chuck King

In the midst of the Owls' worst funk of the season, Mike Jarvis believes FAU has turned the corner.

The positive vibes actually come from an Owls' loss – a 72-71 shortcoming at South Alabama in which FAU had a chance to win in the final seconds but couldn't convert.

Even though the Owls didn't get the victory, Jarvis thought he saw a different team from the one that had been pounded in three of its previous six games.

“It's more that I just feel that the guys are all together - they are very positive about the team,” Jarvis said. “I see Greg Gantt going to back to being Greg Gantt. Jordan McCoy is playing much better. Stefan is improving every game.”

Jarvis likes that Gantt has tried to do more than simply score over the past couple outings. He's also seen McCoy put together two strong games on offense, following a 19 point, nine rebound effort against Florida International with an 11-point 12-rebound night against South Alabama.

McCoy attributes that success to more frequent ice baths that are keeping his legs fresher.

“It's the end of the season. I'm a senior. This is the time to take my game to the next level,” he said.

Truth be told, that time is running out. The Owls have lost six of seven games heading into Thursday's contest against Western Kentucky. There are only five games left on the regular season schedule.

Despite the lack of games in which to make a turnaround, McCoy shares his coach's optimism.

“We're definitely starting to get things on the right track, and figuring out how we need to play and what we need to do to be successful,” said McCoy, who managed only four points but did have eight rebounds in the first meeting of the season against WKU. “Now we just have to get over that hump and get the victory.”

The Owls already own one victory over Western Kentucky this season, beating the Hilltoppers 65-62 on January 12.

Jarvis likes to say that no matter the opponent the Owls face in their next game – that game, the next game on their schedule. is always the most important. But even he is willing to admit Thursday's contest takes on extra importance if the Owls want to start a late-season run.

“In the reality it is - but it shouldn't be,” Jarvis said.

@
  Western Kentucky (13-12, 7-7 Sun Belt)
at
FAU (11-15, 6-9 Sun Belt)

About the Hilltoppers: T.J. Price scored 20 points in WKU's loss to FAU, with George Fant adding 19. Price is 11th in the Sun Belt in scoring, averaging 13.9 per game. ...As a team Western Kentucky shoots 65.6 from the free throw line – better only than Louisiana-Monroe in the Sun Belt. ...The Hilltoppers out-rebound their opponents by an average of 3.4 boards per game, second best in the Sun Belt. ...WKU and FAU are the bottom two teams in the Sun Belt when it comes to assist-to-turnover ratio.

About the Owls: Jackson Trapp is still recovering from an ankle injury. Jarvis does not expect him to play this week but hopes he'll be available next week... Cavon Baker, also out with an ankle injury, is expected to need a longer recovery period. ...Greg Gantt has fallen to eighth in the NCAA in scoring at 21.1 points per game. He led all scorers with 22 points in the first meeting against Western Kentucky. ...Pablo Bertone scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in that first meeting. ...Stefan Moody's 83.8 free throw percentage leads the Sun Belt.

 

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