FIU Men’s Basketball vs UNH Wildcats | November 30th, 2019

FIU Men's Basketball

Miami, FL – This season’s FIU Men’s Basketball team can win the Conference USA title. Did I stutter? The Panthers have won three of their last four games after falling to the UNC Willmington Seahawks at the Battle for the Capital Tournament last week. However, in only his second season at FIU, head coach Jeremy Ballard has completely changed the culture in this program. For the first time in a long time, the team is getting national recognition, much like their football counterparts. 

Last season saw Senior PG, Brian Beard Jr. finish the season ranked #4 in the nation in steals, while Osasumwen Osaghae ranked #5 in the nation in blocks per game. Osaghae kept his momentum going into this season, currently #1 in the nation in blocks-per-game. Although today, he didn’t record any, but still had his presence felt under the basket with seven rebounds. And maybe it’s just me, but he looks bigger than he was last season. The Miami native is only 21, so it’s possible he’s still growing. Listed at 6’9″, he’s a force to be reckoned with. Last week, after the Battle for the Capital Tournament, Big O was named the Conference USA Player of the Week, and he also earned all-tournament recognition, averaging 9.3 rebounds and going 15-18 from the field during the week. Big ups to Big O!

Today, FIU faced off against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. The Wildcats were 4-3 coming into this game, coming off a win against Bryant. The game was tight from beginning to end. FIU controlled much of the first half, with UNH staying right on their coattails. The Panthers were unable to really take a big lead at any point in the game. At the half, FIU led 35-27. Devon Andrews was the catalyst, contributing 12 points and five rebounds.

In the second half, UNH took control. New Hampshire held the biggest lead at eight points after capping off a seven-zero run with five and half minutes remaining in the game to make 64-58, but the Panthers buckled down on defense and went on a run of their own to come away with the 70-69 win.

Devon Andrews finished the game with 21 points and eight rebounds. Antonio Daye Junior also had a nice game, contributing 14 points and led with 3 assists. Osasumwen Osaghae, who recorded his 1st double-double of the season last week vs Cleveland State with 10 boards and 13 points, scored eight points and brought in seven rebounds tonight. 

Next up, on Wednesday, December 4th, the FIU Men’s Basketball Panthers host Florida Gulf Coast University, whom they defeated last season on the road! Dunk City is currently sitting at 2-7, a far cry from their NCAA run and glory days. 

📸 Credit: Albert Palacio, Chris Perez, Danis Sosa 

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