The Stetson men's basketball team (2-4) will attempt to snap a three-game losing skid against Florida Atlantic (3-4) Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. The Hatters return to the Edmunds Center after a two-game road trip to take on the Owls for the first time since 2007.
Following the first back-to-back 20-point victories since the year 2000, Stetson fell at home to USF by nine, lost on the road to VCU by 36, and recently dropped a contest at Bethune-Cookman by 23 points.
"It was clear to me that what happened was that we didn't play hard enough or well enough to be good," Stetson head coach Casey Alexander said. "I was confused, though, as to why we let what happened happen. We were fresh, we had great practices prior to the game, and we talked specifically about how good practices don't automatically translate into a great game. You have to make it happen when you play the game, and approach the game that way.
"We're a defeated bunch, that's for sure," Alexander continued. "We've lost our last two games by a combined 59 points, so that definitely allows doubt to creep in. I hope that we've addressed some of those issues through player meetings, and team meetings, but really it's just a matter of trying to do your job better."
Stetson will have to play better to defeat a 3-4 FAU team that is coming off of a Sun Belt conference victory over Arkansas State. The Owls are led by Greg Gantt and Stefan Moody, who are averaging 19.1 and 14.6 points per game, respectively.
"They're playing well," Alexander said of FAU. "I know that they'll come in here expecting to win the game, so it will be a challenge to say the least. They have a couple of guys who are really hard to guard; Gantt and Moody. We can play well, but those two guys can play better and win the game for them, so how we defend those guys is a real important part of the game. That's not to discredit any of their other guys, because they have plenty of others who can play."
Thursday night marks the first meeting between these two in-state rivals since a neutral site game at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, when the Owls won by a score of 68-82 on Nov. 16, 2007. Stetson holds a slight 16-14 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to 1993, but is 9-4 against FAU at the Edmunds Center.
"This is a big week for us," Alexander concluded. "We need to take advantage of being at home, and win games that we can win. I wouldn't say we're favored to win either one of the next two games (alluding to Dec. 9 game vs. FIU), but they are games that we can win, and we should expect to."
The contest can be watched for free on HatterVision and ASun.TV with play-by-play from Ryan Rouse. The audio can also be heard on the radio at WSBB 1230 AM in New Smyrna and 1490 in DeLand, as well as online at www.MyAM1230.com. Live Stats, the @StetsonMBB Twitter feed, and Hat-Alerts are also available for in-game updates.