Conquistadors are unable to extinguish Southeastern Fire, fall 64-80

FNU men's basketball final graphic (11-5-22)
FNU men’s basketball final graphic (11-5-22)

(Box Score)

LAKELAND, Fla. ( Nov. 4, 2022) The Florida National University Conquistadors continue to search for their first regular season victory following a solid effort against the NAIA preseason favorite No.17 Southeastern University Fire. The Fire’s 64-80 victory improves their overall record to 2-1 following a 79-81 loss to Middle Georgia State on October 28. FNU falls to 0-3 coming into this contest with losses against top NAIA contenders in undefeated No. 21 Florida College and Warner University.

In the first half, FNU put up a commendable performance on the court, trailing the home team by just seven points by the end of the half. Gabriel Casillas led the way for the Conquistadors with 10 crucial points on 3-8 shooting from the field. Jovan Debrito had solid half with seven points and two steals. But the Fire shot an impressive 17-30 from the field and had a great performance out of Reggie Mesidor off the bench with 11 points on 3-3 shooting from behind the three-point line. Mesidors’ sharpshooting performance allowed the fire to jump ahead 40-33 as the first half concluded.

In the second half, FNU got outscored 31-40 in the final 20 minutes of play and their poor shooting from the field reared its ugly head as FNU went 8-25 for another 32% shooting night. From the charity stripe, the Conquistadors did go 12-14 for the half and ended the night shooting 89% from the free-throw line. FNU’s Ryan Sanchez went on to score 10 points in the half and brought down two rebounds, yet his performance was not enough to stop a Southeastern team that could not seem to miss. Fire’s Riley Matticks had a near-perfect second half going 7-8 from the field for 16 points to close the door on a Conquistador comeback.

Sanchez and Matthew Robinson ended the night with 14 points apiece and Debrito and Casillas both put up 10 points in the contest.

Up Next: Florida National takes on Florida Memorial in Miami Gardens, Florida, at 6 p.m. November 8.


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