Men’s Basketball Comes Away With Win Against Middle Tennessee

Guard Eric Lovett shooting a three against UAB. Jared Parker/PantherNOW

Jose Garcia/Contributing Writer

FIU came out with another win over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders this past Saturday. The night was marked by FIU’s tight defense that held back a Blue Raiders team that was looking for its first win of the new year. 

The Raider’s C.J Jones had a daring 24-point game that was left in the dust by FIU’s big man Osasu Osaghae’s dominant performance that saw 11 rebounds and 18 points for his fifth double-double of the season. 

Overall, the Panther defense was outstanding forcing 15 turnovers and 7 blocks, the team that is now 13-6 credits the defensive effort as the machine that has them as current contenders for the C-USA conference title.

The team’s exceptional defense has made the Ocean Bank Arena (home of the Panthers) a fortress, as they are now undefeated for 14 games at home. 

“This is our fortress, and not only do you protect a fortress, but you defend it with all your might and that is what these guys are doing.” said Ballard

We are not just being defensive, but we are being on the attack mode for this fortress…this is the mentality that our staff holds them accountable for.” said Ballard, the team is trying to keep this momentum and reach the March Madness competition. 

FIU balanced a great defensive effort with an offense that shot an overall 39.3% from 3-point attempts, 78.3% from the line, and an overall 41.5%.

 The Panthers will now head to Old Dominion on Thursday January, 30th and aim for a third consecutive win against the 6-12 team. 

FIU, boasting the likes of Osaghae leading the nation in blocks, and Antonio Daye Jr. leading the conference in assists will look to get another comfortable win and maintain the momentum that has them as conference contenders and potential March Madness participants.

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