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GAME PREVIEW / OPEN THREAD: Florida Atlantic visits MSU in the EA Sports Maui Invitational

After starting 0-1 at Troy, can MSU bounce back for Rick Ray's first win tonight?

Wesley Hitt

Who: Florida Atlantic Owls (0-1) of the Sun Belt Conference, lost 80-56 to No. 11 North Carolina Tar Heels Sunday in Chapel Hill, NC

Head Coach: Mike Jarvis at FAU (53-73), career (371-275)

When: 7 p.m. on HailStateTV or on SiriusXM 199

Where: Humphrey Coliseum

The Bulldogs return to the court tonight seeking their first win of the 2012-2013 season against the Owls from Boca Raton, FL. MSU hasn't started a season 0-2 since the 1967-1968 season. This will be MSU and FAU's third-straight meeting at The Hump. Despite the loss to Troy last week, State holds a 68-15 record versus Sun Belt opponents. State went 5-0 against the conference last season.

Against Troy, State struggled from the field. Points were extremely hard-pressed for both squads. The Bulldogs found themselves down 16 points late in the game but found a way to tie it up with 1:08 left. A last-second shot for Troy gave MSU the loss. Five Bulldogs saw their first collegiate action against the Trojans: Colin Borchert, Fred Thomas, Trivante Bloodman, Gavin Ware, and Craig Sword. Three of these were first-time starters: Borchert, Thomas, and Bloodman. Unfortunately, MSU had just seven scholarship players available due to DeAndre Applewhite, Jacoby Davis, and Roquez Johnson suffering from prior injuries. Johnson should be back tonight.

FAU looks to also get their first win of the season tonight. Even though the Owls dropped their season opener to UNC, they only found themselves down eight points at the half. FAU stayed close to the Tar Heels ten minutes into the second half until a monster run put the Tar Heels and the game out of striking distance. The Owls were led by Greg Gantt (who is 2nd all-time at FAU in career points), who had 18 points, and Jordan McCoy, who dominated the boards with 10 rebounds to lead the Owls. Cavon Baker, Jackson Trapp, DeVonte Thornton, and Stefan Moody (FAU's 1st Parade All-American) all saw action and points in their first collegiate game. Another interesting note for FAU is they are extremely diverse. The squad features four players from four different countries: Argentina, Germany, Croatia, and Spain.

With all these thoughts considered, what do you think about tonight? Or MSU? Or this season? Or Rick Ray? Or Rick Ross? Let us know in the comments. Being at The Hump, this game should be a good one.