GAME NOTES: The Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners will desperately try to put an end to their four-game losing streak as they host the Florida Atlantic Owls in a Conference USA battle the UTSA Convocation Center.
FAU has won two games in a row and three of its last five after enduring some serious struggles early in the season. The Owls are coming off a 71-69 edging of UTEP Thursday night, which set the former conference-leading Miners back to 8-2 in the league.
UTSA has lost four in a row and seven of its last eight contests, including an 80-72 defeat at the hands of FIU Thursday. The Roadrunners are trying to battle out of a 3-7 conference record.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs as new rivals of Conference USA. This is the first and only meeting during the regular season between these schools.
FAU just barely defeated the former league-leading Miners, and it took a last- second shot to do it. With 2.2 seconds remaining, Marquan Botley launched a 3- pointer that he banked home to give the Owls a two-point advantage that stunned UTEP. Botley led the team with 23 points in the contest, while Pablo Bertone netted 18. Justin Raffington scored nine points and brought down a team-high seven rebounds in the thrilling victory. FAU shot 52 percent from the floor, and 50 percent from 3-point range in the win.
Bertone paces the Owls this season with 18.8 ppg on 44.4 percent shooting from the floor. His 55 total assists on the year is behind only Botley's 65 assists, and his 35 steals in a team high. Botley is the only other player averaging double-digit point totals, netting 10.5 ppg. Raffington is the team's leading rebounder at 9.1 rpg.
UTSA got a solid contribution from Edrico McGregor Thursday night, and a strong all-around performance from the rest of the lineup. But the Roadrunners came up short against an FIU squad that had five players score in double digits. McGregor netted 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, complemented by 13 points from Devon Agusi and 12 from Keon Lewis. Jordan Sims grabbed a team- best 10 rebounds in the loss.
Lewis leads the Roadrunners in scoring this season with 14.1 ppg with a team- best 56 assists on the year. Agusi is trailing Lewis in both categories with 11.6 ppg and 54 total assists. Sims is netting 11 ppg, and Hyjii Thomas checks in with 10 ppg. Phillip Jones leads the team with 6 rpg and 14 blocked shots, and Sims comes in with a team-leading 31 steals.
FAU has picked it up lately in conference play, with key wins over UTEP and UAB in its last two games. The Owls should be able to take advantage of a UTSA defense giving up 78.8 ppg to its opposition.
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