Adams’ heroics advance FNU to conference semifinal

FNU men's basketball player Gary Adams at St. Thomas University.
Adams’ heroics advance FNU to conference semifinal. (Feb. 29, 2024)

(Box Score)

LAWRENCE, KS. (Feb. 29, 2024) – Florida National University’s (10-13) star guard Gary Adams put his team on his back in the second half to propel the Conquistadors to a stellar 96-86 win over Haskell Indian Nations University (10-17). FNU surpassed the 2024 Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) Championship Tournament host on their home court in Lawrence, KS., with relentless defense and showstopping offense.

In the first half, FNU held a 46-38 lead thanks to 16 points from Miami native Jovan Debrito. Matthew Robinson made his return to the court following an extended leave, and the sophomore went right to work with five points and an assist in 13 minutes. FNU was firing from all cylinders, as sharpshooter Matias Montezuma knocked down two threes en route to eight points off the bench before the halftime break.

Haskell’s Tate Bear did most of the heavy lifting for the home team in the first half, posting 11 points on 5-10 shooting off the bench. Bansi King and Nahcs Wahwassuck combined for 17 as HINU shot 2-14 from long range and 34.3% from the floor. FNU found more of a rhythm in transition, ending the frame 6-12 from three and 16-33 (48.5%) from the floor. 

The second half saw a contentious start, with Haskell starting the period on a 21-5 run through the first eight minutes of the second half. HINU fought for a 59-51 lead before Adams kick-started a stagnant FNU offense down low with two powerful layups. Robinson went on to force a timeout on a corner three to make it a 59-58 Haskell lead. 

FNU kept the pressure on in the half-court, forcing 14 turnovers in the half and wore down a HINU offense that struggled to get timely buckets. Haskell shot just 34.2% and 25.6% from long-range through the frame.

Adams was spectacular in the second with 17 points, seven boards and six dimes. A clutch three from Debrito with 3:48 left on the clock shut the door on a Haskell comeback as FNU went up 80-71. Notably, Ronald Fernandez was feeling it from the floor for 10 points in the half on 5-7 shooting from the field.

Debrito led all FNU scorers with 27, while Adams ended the evening with a near triple-double of 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Robinson’s return was more than ideal as the Miami guard ended the night with 11 points and three boards. 

Up Next: FNU awaits its opponent in the CAC semifinal round set to begin on March 2. 

Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) logo.