NORTH MIAMI, Fla. ( Feb. 17, 2023) – Florida National University’s men’s basketball team had a less-than-successful final day at the Skinner Classic hosted by the University of Fort Lauderdale. After allowing 92 points to the Eagles on day one of the tournament, FNU (4-15) lost a close battle with fellow Continental Athletic Conference member the University of the Virgin Islands Buccaneers (4-16).
The 66-62 loss marks the 15th loss the Conquistadors have suffered this season and signals the end of the 2022-23 regular season.
In the first half, FNU held on to a 33-30 lead at the break thanks in part to a stellar half from Jovan Debrito. The Miami native had 17 points on 6-14 shooting to keep FNU one step ahead of a trailing UVI team, fresh off their loss to UFTL the previous night.
Debrito’s brilliance in the first also allowed Jesus Rivas and Zachary Arias to put up six points apiece in the period. FNU did a good job of rebounding the ball snatching up 22 in the period and only recorded five turnovers before the second half rolled along.
The final half saw Florida National lose its momentum as UVI outscored the Conquistadors 36-29 to secure a late-season victory. Kevin Delgado and Rivas combined for seven points in the period as Debrito went to work with 13 points in the half. A made layup by Naythan Shaw-Clarke gave the Buccaneers a 49-45 lead and made the rest of the game a two possessions contest well within reach for each team.
Delgado connected on a clutch three-pointer with 4:06 left on the clock. After a quick FNU timeout, UVI was able to ice the game on the charity strip going five of six to close out the game. FNU shot 37.9% (22-66) from the floor and connected on 10 of 23 three-pointers attempted (43.5%)
Debrito had a team-high 30 points in 24 minutes of play while Rivas had 13 rebounds.