FIU’s veterans got the job done during the game. Senior forward Daviyon Draper led the Panthers in scoring with 19 points. Senior center Adrian Diaz was dominant on the boards against a smaller Lions team.
With this win, the Panthers (15-12, 9-7 in Conference USA) clinched the seventh spot in the C-USA Tournament.
It’s bad enough that FIU didn’t score any points, but that doesn’t even tell the whole story of just how inefficient the offense was.
In addition to earning their first conference title since 2004, the victory guaranteed the Panthers’ a chance to compete for a national title in the NCAA tournament.
The team responded with a dominant effort, defeating LA Tech in straight sets.
The senior had a career high seven tackles, four sacks and five tackles for loss. Adding with a 48-31 victory, Wakefield tied a school record for most sacks and tackle for loss in a game.
The Fighting Illini from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be making the 1,300 mile trip to the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center.
The Panthers (4-5, 2-3) return home this Saturday, Nov. 7, to play a University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers team (2-6, 0-5) that is still searching for their first win in Conference USA.
FIU dominated the contest in every offensive category besides goals. The Panthers attempted 21 shots to New Mexico’s five.
As good as Florida International University has been at home, the Roadrunners were too much to handle. The Panthers fell in four sets.