MIAMI, Fla. (October 23, 2020) – With a game-tying four-point play for the Conquistadors and no time on the clock at the end of the first overtime, most folks in the Miami Christian School Gym believed it was FNU’s night to claim a season-opening victory.
Unfortunately, the Johnson (Fla.) Suns (1-1) felt like playing spoiler as the FNU men’s basketball team (0-1) fell to the visitors, 113-110 (2OT), on Friday night.
Even after Kenneth Santos’ trey while being fouled as time expired and a successful free-throw to make the score 105-105, FNU couldn’t’ capitalize on the momentum as the Suns outscored the Conquistadors, 8-5 in the final five-minute stanza.
Santos finished the night with 36 points on 10-of-25 shooting from the floor. The FNU senior was 7-of-11 from 3-point range and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line. He also corralled nine rebounds and registered a game-high six steals.
The Sun led most of the contest (36:02), even extending their lead to 18 with 4:07 left in regulation. That didn’t faze the Conquistadors, who went on a 25-7 run to close out 40 minutes of action and send the game to overtime.
A big reason for the run was Jeffery Hernandez, who scored a game-high 38 points on 11-of-24 shooting. He was also 15-of-22 from the line, grabbed seven rebounds, notched three steals, and dished out five assists. During that four-minute comeback, the native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, scored 12 points, draining eight free throws, notched two steals, one assist, and grabbed one board.
Sophomore Yamil Diaz recorded the team’s first double-double of the season, posting 16 points and notching 15 rebounds. The native of Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, shot 7-of-17 from the floor while blocking a game-high six shots.
Sophomore Hirotaka Ohashi dished out a contest-best 14 assists in the contest. The native of Osaka, Japan, set up his teammates all night, including Santos’ four-point play at the end of overtime No. 2.
For the game, FNU shot 37.2 percent from the floor (35-of-94) and was 10-of-42 from 3-point land. The Conquistadors were also 30-of-40 from the free-throw line (75.0 percent). Johnson (Fla.) ended the night, shooting 46.3 percent from the floor (38-of-82) and hit on 6-of-19 shots from beyond the arc (31.6 percent). The Suns converted 73.8 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe (31-of-42).
Johnson (Fla.) held a 66-51 edge in rebounding with both teams even on the offensive glass (18-18) and in second-chance points (9-9). The Conquistadors forced 31 Suns turnovers in the game, resulting in 34 points for FNU.
Florida National will next travel to Lake Wales, Florida, to face the Warner Royals on Tuesday, October 27. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
About FNU: Florida National University opened its first class on January 4th, 1988, in the city of Hialeah, Florida, as Florida International Institute under the administration of Dr. José Regueiro, Dr. María C. Regueiro, and Mr. Omar Sánchez. FNU Athletic Department has more than 250 student-athletes in 11 different sports. Established in 2013, FNU Athletics is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).
The mission of the Florida National University Athletic Department is to provide assistance within an athletic structure that promotes the development of a well-rounded education through structured sport and competition, to develop life skills of discipline, integrity, leadership, philanthropy and social responsibility, to elevate ethnic and cultural diversity within the athletic programs, to assure equitable opportunity for all staff and student-athletes, and to make the athletic program a durable source of pride for the student population, student-athletes, alumni, university, and community of FNU.