Panthers Fall to North Texas in Conference Shootout

Devon Andrews was the C-USA player of the week last week. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics

Richard Gibson/Staff Writer

   The 11-4 Panthers, who came into this game on a two winning streak, had the opportunity to win three straight Conference USA games for the first time ever. However, the 7-8 North Texas Mean Green proved to be more of a challenge than what their record would indicate. After a dominant offensive outing by North Texas, FIU would lose by a score of 74-56.

   The game started out sloppy for both teams, highlighted by a multitude of turnovers. A good amount of points scored by both teams were off of turnover breakaways. In total, FIU finished with 19 turnovers on the day, one more than the Mean Green’s 18. 

   Eventually, the offenses got more careful with the ball, but North Texas was consistent with their shooting. When it comes to free throws, North Texas didn’t head to the line as often as FIU, but still scored more. North Texas was 10 for 12 at the line, while FIU was 9 for 17.

   The rebounding was also a key part of FIU’s shortcomings. FIU only managed 10 rebounds offensively and 19 defensively, while North Texas achieved 14 rebounds offensively and 25 defensively. North Texas also picked up 15 assists, compared to FIU’s 9.

   However, the most surprising stat of the night were the blocks. North Texas held FIU, who’s one of the best blocking teams in the nation, to 3 blocks. North Texas put up 5 blocks of their own, silencing FIU in their best ability, statistically speaking.

   In the second half, FIU got more consistent with their shooting, eventually going on a run that almost tied up the game. However, North Texas made their shots count, and never gave up the lead. After 20 minutes of back and forth scoring by both sides, North Texas would come out on top.

   FIU’s leading scorer of the night was Trejon Jacob, who scored 13 points off of 5 for 7 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Devon Andrews led the Panthers in rebounding, with three on offense and four on defense. Antonio Daye Jr. led the Panthers in assists with two.

   FIU’s record is now 11-5, and 2-1 against Conference USA opponents. Still, they hold the second best overall record in Conference USA, just behind Louisiana Tech. Their 2-1 Conference record is tied with North Texas, Louisiana Tech, and Marshall for second best. 

   FIU will stay in Texas, travelling to Houston to take on the Rice Owls on Saturday, January 11th. FIU’s next  two home games will be on January 16th and 18th, when they host the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, respectively. 

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