Feb. 14, 2006
BOCA RATON, FL - The final home games for four seniors on the Florida Atlantic men's basketball team will tip off this week.
Forwards Rodney Webb and Fred Marshall, along with guards Quinton Young and Lamar Moore, will step onto the court competitively at FAU Arena for the final time this Saturday, Feb. 18 when FAU faces Kennesaw State at 7:00 p.m. On Thursday, the four elder statesmen will lead their comrades in the most important game of the year, as the Owls take on East Tennessee State at 7:00 p.m.
FAU (11-12, 10-6 A-Sun) comes into the week with consecutive losses to Mercer (74-73) and Stetson (56-49), dropping two games behind Belmont and Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings. The Owls have dropped five of their last seven after opening conference play 8-1.
Still battling for the regular season title and the number-one seed for the conference tournament, all four seniors are making contributions to FAU's goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament. Webb leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game and is second in scoring with 14.7 points, trailing only junior DeAndre Rice at 16.9 points per game.
Young, with a recent stretch of five consecutive games in double figures, is fourth on the team at 7.4 points and is shooting 50.0% from three-point range in conference play, tops in the A-Sun. Marshall is expected to make his 14th start of the season on Thursday and contributes 4.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, while Moore recently battled back from an injury and is beginning to see valuable minutes during the homestretch of his collegiate career.
ETSU brings the conference's leading scorer and one of the nation's top scoring units to Boca on Thursday. After edging out FAU 63-61 on January 4 in Johnson City, Tenn., the Bucs have found the form that made them preseason favorite to win the conference tournament.
Tim Smith, voted the Preseason Player of the Year by the conference, is averaging 23.1 points per game on the season. ETSU (15-9, 12-5 A-Sun) is fourth in the nation at 83.3 points per game.
The Bucs have won 14 of their last 17 games to move to third in the A-Sun. After the tip with FAU, a trip to Nashville to face the conference leaders is still on ETSU's schedule.
FAU had one of the top defensive performances of the year against Smith, surrendering just 15 points on six-of-14 shooting from the field. The senior NBA prospect came back for 37 in his next outing against Campbell.
FAU trailed 20-9 nearing the midway point of the first half against ETSU but rallied to take a five-point lead in the second half, consistently outplaying the Bucs for the final 30 minutes. Rice and Webb were the only Owls in double figures with 23 and 15 points, respectively.
The first game ever between Kennesaw and FAU took place on Jan. 2 in Kennesaw, Ga., where the Owls started the New Year with a special performance in the second half. Hitting 15-of-25 from the floor after the break, FAU outscored the Owls from Georgia 46-38 in claiming a 73-67 win.
The win was the first of the year on the road for the Owls, who collected 20 assists in the game. Brent Crews totaled nine assists, while FAU shot 52.0% from the field and nine-of-15 on three-pointers in the game.
Andre Morgan netted 23 points to lead KSU. Kennesaw totaled just 21 rebounds to FAU's 32.
Golden Ingle leads KSU with 17.6 points per game but shoots just 34.9% from the field. Ronnell Wooten adds 15.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
After making the move from NCAA Division II this year, Kennesaw (12-14, 10-7 A-Sun) is sixth in the conference standings. Since starting the A-Sun 9-1, KSU has lost six of its last seven games.
For tickets, fans can call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit the official website of FAU athletics, www.fausports.com. Both games can be heard on 1040 AM WLVJ and online on the FAU webpage.