North Texas (12-13, 3-8 C-USA) at FIU (13-13, 5-6 C-USA)
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 6 p.m. Central
Miami FIU Arena (5,000)
Radio: MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
TV: None Webcast: FIUSports.com
NCAA RPI (2/17): NT - 202, FIU - 200
Series: NT leads 12-4
Last: NT won 77-67, 2/9/13, Denton
Game 26 - FIU
MIAMI - With five regular season games remaining, the North Texas basketball team is just two games out of a bye in the upcoming Conference USA Tournament, and they'll need to make headway in a key road swing to FIU and Florida Atlantic this week.
The Golden Panthers and Owls have made the jump from the Sun Belt with the Mean Green, and both are ahead of NT in the C-USA standings.
The Golden Panthers have a potent scoring/rebounding combo in seniors Tymell Murphy and Rakeem Buckles, who make FIU the only team in C-USA with two players among the top 10 rebounders in the league. Murphy ranks 6th in C-USA with a scoring average of 16.2 points per game, and is 8th with a rebounding mark of 7.4 per game. Buckles ranks 4th in C-USA with 8.8 rebounds per game and 13th in scoring at 13.8 points.
The new court at FIU is making waves - literally. The one-of-a-kind design brings the beaches of Miami to FIU Arena, and even features cabana seating behind the end-line.
NT big-man Kelvin Gaines is from Ocala, Fla., which is just a four-hour drive from Miami. Gaines graduated from Cincinnatti after just three seasons (with a redshirt) and will have another season of eligibility with NT in 2014-15. He has started six games and has eight blocks in C-USA play.
Alzee Williams isn't from the Sunshine State, but needs just five more points to become the 20th NT player to reach the 1,000 point plateau. Jordan Williams isn't far behind with 961 career points.