BTH Gameday: For UALR, stopping FAU isn't just about slowing Gantt

6 p.m. tonight

When UALR and Florida Atlantic matched up the first time this season, we assumed the top on-court matchup would be UALR’s defensive stopper Leroy Isler vs. Florida Atlantic’s Greg Gantt, the Sun Belt Conference’s leading scorer.

And in the first half of that game, Isler completely shut down Gantt. And it didn’t matter. Florida Atlantic still rolled to a 22-point first-half lead and led 35-19. Gantt got going in the second half and finished with 13 points. Again, it didn’t matter. UALR outscored FAU 46-27 in the second half and rallied for a 65-62 victory.

So, what happens tonight when UALR takes on FAU at 6 p.m. Central in Boca Raton, Fla.? With this UALR team it’s anybody’s guess. But one thing’s for certain: FAU is a two-headed monster.

When FAU was rolling in the first half, it was due to the scoring of point guard Stefan Moody, who torched UALR’s point guards. He hit four first-half three-pointers and ultimately finished with 24 points.

Scoring point guards have given UALR some issues this year. And it’s not like you can just slide Isler over to guard the point (like UALR did vs. Milwaukee). Gantt is just too dangerous.

In Thursday’s overtime loss to North Texas, Gantt attempted 23 field goals. Moody attempted 21 field goals. And the other six players who saw action combined to attempt 23 field goals.

A two-headed threat indeed.


Getting tired of going through West Division scenarios. There’s only one that really matters tonight. If UALR loses to FAU and Arkansas State beats Troy, UALR will finish second in the West Division and will be seeded no better than fourth. Anything else, keeps UALR alive for the 2.


UALR is still without sophomore guard Taggart Lockhart. He’s played only parts of two of the past five games. UALR is 1-4 in those games.


Set the Mood: FAU’s Stefan Moody torched UALR in the first meeting. UALR can’t afford for both Moody and Gantt to go off tonight.

We like Mike: UALR’s Michael Javes has been among the best Trojans in recent weeks. If he’s got it going on tonight, UALR needs to feed him the ball.

Through the hoop: FAU is a very solid defensive team. UALR is going to have to execute on offense tonight. Shoot 40 percent and the Trojans likely win.


Florida Atlantic is a one-point favorite in Las Vegas.


Omni Rankings (15-4): FAU 64, UALR 60

Real Time RPI (21-6): FAU 69, UALR 66

Jeff Sagarin (19-7): FAU 71, UALR 69

The Sports Network (19-7):  TBA

CBS Sportsline (17-9): TBA

BTH Average (18-8):  FAU 68.0, UALR 65.0