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Owls set to host conference leader Middle Tennessee Thursday

The Owls (12-12, 5-10 C-USA) return home this week as they host C-USA leader Middle Tennessee (20-4, 13-2 C-USA) on Thursday, Feb. 16 for a 7 p.m. tip inside Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena.

The Owls are 12-12 overall and 5-10 in C-USA play so far this season and are currently on a three-game skid with defeats against Charlotte (73-59), Rice (85-64), and LA Tech (68-56).

The Owls have been led the season by Aniya Hubbard, who ranks first among freshman in C-USA and eighth overall in the league in scoring with 13.8 points per game. Hubbard also leads C-USA in steals, collecting 64 this season, averaging 2.7 per contest. She is also the Owls’ leader in assists, dishing out 2.5 per contest this season. The Owls other top scorers include Joiya Maddox and Janeta Rozentale who are averaging 9.2 and 8.8 points per game this season, respectively. Rozentale leads the Owls on the glass, posting 6.0 rebounds per game and tallying 16 blocked shots in 2022-23.

As a team, the Owls rank second in Conference USA in rebounding margin (4.5) and free throw attempts per game (20.8), third in rebounds per game (39.4) and 3-point percentage defense (29.1), fourth in scoring defense (65.5), defensive rebounds per game (26.3), and steals per game (8.7), and fifth in turnovers forced per game (16.9), offensive rebounds per game (13.1), free throws made per game (14.3), and fewest fouls per game (17.6).

Middle Tennessee leads Conference USA at 20-4 overall and 13-2 in C-USA play so far this season. The Lady Raiders are currently on a two-game winning streak after having loss their first two contests in league play, earning wins over WKU (94-81) and UAB (63-42).
The Lady Raiders are paced by four double-digit scorers, led by Savannah Wheeler who is averaging a team-best 16.4 points per game. Wheeler is tied with Courtney Blakely for the team lead in assists with 67 but has dished out a team-leading 3.2 assists per game. Kseniya Malashka is MT’s second leading scorer, averaging 15.0 points per game, while Jalynn Gregory and Courtney Whitson round out the Lady Raiders double-figure scorers, with 12.7 and 10.0 points per game this season. Whitson leads MT on the boards, collecting 8.0 rebounds per game, Gregory leads the team in steals, averaging 1.8 per game, and Malashka has collected a team-best 45 blocks, averaging 1.9 per game this season.

MT leads Conference USA in 11 categories, including assist/turnover ratio (1.14), blocks per game (4.3), field goal percentage defense (.360), free throw attempts per game (21.1), free throws made per game (16.5), scoring defense (55.5), scoring margin (17.6), scoring offense (73.1), turnover margin (6.46), turnovers per game (11.5), and winning percentage (.833), second in free throw percentage (.781) and 3-point attempts per game (25.1), third in defensive rebounds per game (26.5), steals per game (9.1), 3-pointers per game (7.8), and turnovers forced per game (18.0), and fifth in assists per game (13.1).

FAU trails the all-time series against Middle Tennessee, 1-29. In Boca Raton, the Owls are 1-13 all-time against the Lady Raiders. The Owls have fallen short in the last 23 contests against the Lady Raiders, earning their sole win over Middle Tennessee, 73-70 on Feb. 21, 2009, in Boca Raton. The two teams met earlier this season with the Owls holding Middle Tennessee to their lowest offensive output of the season to that point, falling 63-48.

The Owls will have an extended break as Middle Tennessee is their only contest this week, and preparing to hit the road again for the Lone Star State as they head to San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, Feb. 23 to take on the UTSA Roadrunners for an 8 p.m. ET tip inside the Convocation Center.

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