Wright’s double-double fuels Panthers over Trojans

(Beacon File Photo)

By: Malcolm Shields / Staff Writer


(Beacon File Photo)

DeJuan Wright led FIU (6-15, 3-6 SBC) with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Jeremy Allen added 11 points and reserve guard Cameron Bell followed with 10 point off the bench.

“Defensively we are pretty consistent,” Thomas said after the game. “I thought everybody who came in gave us a lift off the bench. I was pleased with the effort.”

The Panthers needed production from its bench after sophomore forward Dominique Ferguson sustained an ankle injury with 9:43 remaining in the first half. Ferguson did not return into the game. His status for FIU’s Feb. 4 match up against Florida Atlantic will be a game time decision.

Replacing Ferguson’s production, Bell provided the points and rebounds that the Panthers needed. “Cameron gave us a huge boost off the bench,” Wright said. Bell also collected nine rebounds in the game.

The Panthers defense gave Troy (7-14, 2-8 SBC) problems most of the game. Leading scorer for the Trojans, Will Weathers, was held to three points against the Panthers. “We are just hanging our hat on our defense,” Allen said. “When we get steals or rebounds, we try to run the floor so we don’t be [come] such a half-court team.”

Recently, the Panthers have struggled to score points late to close out games. With less than seven minutes remaining in the second half, the Panthers held a 46-45 lead. Aided by the scoring of Wright, who scored seven of the teams’ final 17 points, the Panthers were able to seal the win. “It was a good team effort,” Wright said. “We just tried to limit our turnovers tonight.”

Thomas gave credit to his point guard Phil Taylor for distributing the basketball in the final possessions of the game. “Phil had much better command of the offense. He made sure that everyone was in position [and] our tempo was good,” Thomas said. “At the end of the game we ended up getting good shots.”

With their rematch against Florida Atlantic coming up next, the Panthers’ focus is now on securing its first win at FAU Arena since 2009. “It’s a rivalry. That’s how we look at it,” Wright said. “We are going in there to win.”

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