Men’s basketball preview: FAU looking to snap four-game skid when it visits FIU

The Owls are seeking a season sweep over the Panthers for the first time since 2012.


Sophomore Jeantal Cylla averages 7.1 for the Owls this season. Photo by Mohammed F. Emran

Jordon Edwards, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic University men’s basketball season has past its midway point and is amidst a four-game losing streak. The Owls will be looking to get back on track this week when they visit Florida International University.

The Owls (5-13, 1-6 Conference USA) will try to overcome an 86-57 loss to Middle Tennessee and get a win. FIU (5-15, 1-6 Conference USA) is a team that is struggling, having lost six of its last seven games.

In their last matchup, the Owls were able to hold off a late comeback attempt by the Panthers and win 73-64. In that game four players reached double figures in scoring with sophomore Nick Rutherford leading all scorers with 14 points, while also adding four rebounds and four assists.

The Owls saw success on defense as well. FAU held the Panthers to 39.6 percent shooting and 18.2 percent from long range.

Alabama transfer Michael Kessens has been having a productive season so far for FIU, averaging 13.8 points and just under 10 rebounds a game. The 6-foot-9 senior scored 21 points on 47 percent shooting in the earlier matchup.

FAU will have to find a way to slow him down in order to secure a victory.

The Owls are shooting 41 percent from the field, while FIU is shooting 45 percent, but averaging almost 14 turnovers a game. If the Owls can force turnovers and score in transition, they will be able to pick up the win.

The game should be a battle from start to finish being that both teams match up well against each other, and a rivalry game always brings a different atmosphere on the court. The game will be played at FIU Arena in Miami, Florida on Jan. 26, at 7 p.m.

Jordon Edwards is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @koolkidklassic.