FIU Basketball Begins the Biggest Stretch of Season vs WKU

Photo by FIU Athletics

After the 73-77 loss against FAU, the FIU Panthers (8-8) head to Bowling Green to face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (10-6). Led by Dayvion McKnight and Emmanuel Akot, the Panthers have a lot on their plate for Saturday’s showdown.

FAU Game Recap

For a more in-depth look at the FAU @ FIU game thoughts, check out the latest episode of the Paws Up podcast:

FIU Scoring Leaders:

Denver Jones: 25 points

Nick Guadarrama: 14 points

Arturo Dean: 10 points

FAU Scoring Leaders:

Davis Johnell: 17 points

Nick Boyd, Michael Forrest, and Alijah Martin: 12 points

Full postgame press conference down below:

Western Kentucky Key Players:

The star of the Hilltoppers is easily junior Dayvion McKnight. So far this season, McKnight has put up 17.6 points per game, 5.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and a 47.9% field goal percentage. McKnight will be the main focus for FIU when prepping their game plan. In this last stretch of games, FIU has been able to slow down teams number one scorers. That began with holding UAB’s Jordan Walker to five points and holding FAU’s Alijah Martin to under his points per average.

Arguably the tallest player in college basketball, Jamarion Sharp who stands at 7’5″ will be the biggest threat for FIU basketball down in the paint. As mentioned in episode seven of the “Paws Up Podcast”, FIU has been playing 6’9″ Mohamed Sanogo as their primary center with their other two centers who are seven feet tall not getting as much playing time. Expect Sharp to have himself a great game if FIU rolls with Sanogo as the starter and main center throughout the game.

Senior Emmanuel Akot is the only other player of worry for FIU. Averaging 11.3 points per game, 3.4 rebounds, 2,8 assists, and 43.6% field goal. Akot is second in points per game and second in assists per game. If you can stop McKnight, expect Akot to get a lot of scoring opportunities.

FIU Key Players:

After a 25-point performance, Denver Jones will once again be the main scoring option for FIU followed by freshman Arturo Dean who has been on a hot streak and has been one of the best players when it comes to having consistent defense and offense. Over this past week, Nick Guadarrama has also been on fire, so watch out to see how much more the senior is placed into this game plan, especially with the possibility that he can stretch the floor.

The two main players that you have to keep an eye out for when it comes to playing time is 7’1″ junior Seth Pinkey. As Mohamed Sanogo began gaining more playing time, Pinkey began losing it, but when you have a player at 7’5″, you need to match it up as best as possible with Pinkey. Just expect more minutes from Pinkey when Sharp is on the court.


FIU: 85

WKU: 81

Game MVP: Arturo Dean

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