Written by: Dalton Tevlin/Asst. Sports Director
The FIU men’s basketball lost to the Florida Atlantic University Owls in an 72-89 game on Panthers’ territory at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The first-half of the game started off strong for the Panthers. Brian Beard Jr. led the way for the team early in the game with 15 points and impressive ball movement. Devon Andrews contributed 10 points, shooting an efficient 4-8 from the field.
FAU guard Anthony Adger scored 16 points for his team during the first half, including a Hail-Mary buzzer beater to give the Owls a 43-42 lead heading into the second-half.
During the second half, there saw a shift of energy in favor of FAU. The Owls opened the half with a 10-0 run. FIU went scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half. Even though the Panthers were able to cut the lead down to 5 points, they were unable to catch up with the Owls.
Adger contributed 10 points in the second-half, scoring 26 points by the end of the game. Xavian Stapleton scored 11 points and didn’t miss a shot the second-half.
After the game, FIU Coach Jeremy Ballard said lack of focus was to blame for the team’s second-half performance.
“We got down on ourselves, we got dejected. We got caught up in things that weren’t in our control and it affected our play out there,” said Coach Ballard about the Panthers’ performance in the second-half.
Fouls were an issue for FIU in the second-half with 13 fouls against FIU alone. The team was clearly not focused coming out of half-time and got too caught up in disagreeing with calls the referees made, according to Ballard.
“We talk all the time about the next play being most important, too often tonight the previous play was most important,” said Ballard.
After seeing the mistakes that the Panthers made at the game, Ballard plans on fixing the mistakes during the team’s practices this week.
“Everything from not guarding the ball to turning the ball over to missing shots, was because our head wasn’t clear. That’s totally in our control, the ability to stay focused on the grande goals is and we just got to reiterate that,” said Coach Ballard.
FIU will have another home game on Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center at 7 p.m. against the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
Featured Image and Images taken by Brea Jones/PantherNOW