DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ( Nov. 14, 2022) – Florida National held their own against the NCAA Divison I Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats Monday following a phenomenal game by Gabriel Casillas. The San Juan, Puerto Rico, native ended his night with 24 points and seven rebounds. The Wildcats came into their home opener desperate for a win after falling to NCAA tournament favorites Iowa and Indiana by 31 and 52, respectively. The Conquistadors excelled in just their second exhibition match of the year, following a promising performance against Florida International last week where Casillas had a team-high 39 points.
The first half saw FNU outscore the home team Wildcats 32-26 shooting a cool 40% from the field. The Conquistadors lead for over 18 minutes in the period and were able to compete underneath, gobbling 12 rebounds in the period. The Wildcats couldn’t connect with the hoop from behind the three-point line only sinking in two of the seven three-pointers attempted. Along with another solid performance from Casillas, guard Ryan Sanchez had 12 points in the contest and it looked as though FNU was in a great position to upset the Wildcats on the road.
Unfortunately, late in the second, BCU came alive offensively in front of the roaring Wildcat faithful. Marcus Garrett had 21 points in the contest on 60% shooting from the field as the Wildcats pulled away in the last seven minutes of the ball game as FNU held on to a 52-51 lead. The home team went 4-8 from behind the arch and put up 45 points in the second half to ice out the fierce Conquistadors.
Up Next: FNU returns to action Wednesday, Nov. 18 against Palm Beach Atlantic on the road at 7:30 p.m.