Pablo Bertone scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in FAU's victory over ULL earlier this season. (OwlAccess.com file photo)
FAU players say Thursday's win over Western Kentucky shows the team is on the right track. FAU will see if momentum is building when the Owls travel to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
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FAU players felt the team played better in Saturday's loss at South Alabama.
Thursday's victory over Western Kentucky only served to affirm that belief.
Now Owls are hoping to build some momentum toward a late-season run.
“It's never too late to turn the season around and I think we're starting to play the way we should have been playing the entire year,” senior guard Greg Gantt said following his 31-point effort against the Hilltoppers.
FAU shot a season-high 59 percent and out-rebounded Western Kentucky, but FAU coach Mike Jarvis continues to believe the Owls can play better.
“There are still too many turnovers,” he said.
The Owls' 12 assists equaled their turnovers in a 75-70 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on January 3. Producing a similar ratio will be the challenge when FAU travels to the CajunDome on Saturday.
FAU turned the ball over 19 times against only 16 assists on Thursday against WKU – with six of those turnovers coming after the Hilltoppers went to a full-court press in the final minutes.
FAU appeared to be in control most of the way on Thursday night yet still struggled to put WKU away in the closing minutes. That's been a familiar story for the Owls and Jarvis admits that even with four guards on the floor that problem isn't likely to disappear this season.
“You can have five guards in – if the guards don't play like guards it doesn't make any difference,” Jarvis said. “In reality you didn't have one true point guard on the floor.”
FAU (12-15, 7-9 Sun Belt)
at Louisiana-Lafayette (9-17, 5-10 Sun Belt)
About the Owls: FAU will be looking to earn its third conference sweep of the season. The Owls have already taken two games apiece from Troy and Western Kentucky. ...Stefan Moody scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the first meeting with the Ragin' Cajuns. …Greg Gantt averages playing 36.2 minutes per game, which leads the Sun Belt.
About the Ragin' Cajuns: ULL is coming off an 88-64 loss to South Alabama. ...The Cajuns average 71 points per game – most in the Sun Belt. ...ULL allows 74.1 points per game - also the most in the Sun Belt. ...Three players accounted for 62 of ULL's 70 points in the first meeting of the schools. Elfrid Payton led the way with 23, followed by Sean Long (22) and Bryant Mbamalu (17). ...Long's 15.6 ppg is fourth best in the conference. ...Payton's 5.3 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game lead the Sun Belt.