Panthers win their fifth-straight home game by defeating Rice 67-64

By Nicholas Poblete/Asst. Sports Director


The men’s basketball team ended its 2017-18 home schedule with a 67-64 victory over the Rice Owls (6-23), on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.

For the first time since joining Conference USA, the Panthers won their final five conference home games, finishing with a 10-7 home record. Currently, the Panthers have a 13-16 overall record and 7-9 Conference USA record.

Although the Panthers were down for the greater part of the match, the team managed to rally on a 10-2 run with just six minutes left in the second half to take the lead.

“That’s the character. We were down the whole time. They never gave up. Made some free throws, some clutch stops when we needed to and got some rebounds,” head coach Anthony Evans said during the postgame press conference.

Four Panthers scored double-digits; Eric Lockett (14 points), Josh Stamps (15), Trejon Jacob (12) and Brian Beard Jr. (13).

“I think we just work on it in practice. Something we emphasis and they do a good job of it, moving the basketball, making the extra pass and guys are knocking down shots,” Evans said.

After Saturday’s match, the men’s basketball team sits in seventh place in the C-USA standings, tied with North Texas, both with a 7-9 conference record. The Panthers’ record assures them a spot in the C-USA Tournament.

“We wanted to make the playoffs. It an opportunity for us to go and do some great things,” Evans said.

Brian Beard Jr. was one of those players who struggled to make an impact during the first half. Beard Jr. scored just one field goal out of his four attempts, contributing two points and three assists.

Despite a poor first half, the junior guard displayed a strong performance in the second half. Beard Jr. scored four field goals out of his eight attempts, scoring 11 points and four assists.

“I struggled the first half. I had a few uncharacteristic turnovers, Beard Jr. said. “In the second half I just kept playing. I’m not going to give up, I’m going to keep coming at you and ill do anything the team needs me to do.”

FIU will travel to Charlotte, NC on March 1, to play against the (5-22) Charlotte 49ers. The Panthers final game of the regular season is against the Old Dominion Monarchs on March 3, in Norfolk, VA.

The Panthers will use the final two games of the regular season to prepare for the C-USA Tournament, which will be held in Frisco, Texas, from March 7 through March 10.

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