FIU Picks up Road Win Against UTSA

David Drucker/ Staff Writer

The Panthers remembered what a solid defensive effort looks like on Jan. 21 as they cruised to a 72-56 victory over the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners at the Convocation Center. Florida International University locked down an already-struggling UTSA offense, holding the Roadrunners to 33% shooting from the field and 15% from behind the arc. Although senior forward Adrian Diaz got into trouble early, junior guard Donte McGill stepped up once again for the Panthers, scoring 23 points on 8-16 shooting.

FlU jumped out a hot start, gaining a 15-5 lead in a flash. The Panthers would have to rely on their small sets to protect their lead, however, because Diaz picked up two fouls in the first four minutes of the game. The senior only played 17 minutes in the contest, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds. Where Diaz was absent, senior forward Daviyon Draper was there to fill the void on the boards; Draper notched 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, five of which were on the offensive end. The Roadrunners’ offense capitalized on Diaz’s absence on defense, however, and put together an 8-0 run to end the first half, closing FIU’s lead to 30-25.

The Panthers pulled away in the second half thanks to a surge led by McGill. FIU extended its lead to as much as 17 points with 8:25 left to play in the second half and UTSA was not shooting well enough from three to cut the lead in such a short amount of time. FIU’s defense held on to hand the Roadrunners their third loss in their last four contests. With the win, FIU improved to 3-2 all time versus UTSA and claimed their first ever win at the Convocation Center.

Next up for the Panthers is their second opponent on their Texas C-USA slate, the University of Texas at El Paso Miners. Tipoff is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23 at 9:05 p.m.

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