AVE MARIA, Fla. ( Feb. 2, 2023) – Florida National University’s men’s basketball team’s latest defeat came to a desperate Ave Maria team fresh off eight-straight losses. The Conquistadors (4-13) made the short trip to Ave Maria, Fla., following two disappointing conference losses versus Voorhees University and Crowley’s Ridge College. The Gyrenes’ (12-12) latest loss in their eight-game slump came to the Continental Athletic Conference’s (CAC) top seed and the No. 20 Florida College Falcons.
In the opening period, the Gyrenes held a 35-27 lead at the break on 16 of 28 (57.1%) shooting from the floor. FNU struggled once again to put the ball in the net going just nine of 25 for a 36% shooting performance in the first half. Marcos Molina, Matthew Robinson and Jordan Cardenas put up eight points apiece before the break as Girardi Cubillan recorded the lone point from the Conquistadors bench and 11 in the second half.
In the second half, FNU was able to keep the scoring tied at 46-46, yet failed to overcome their first-half woes. Jovan Debrito did a great job of keeping the Conquistadors in the game with 13 second-half points. FNU also won the turnover battle giving up just five to the Gyrenes’ eight. FNU capitalized on those turnovers scoring nine points off AMU’s missteps.
With less than a minute to go in the game, two layups from Cubillan and Robinson cut the lead to 74-70, but a three-point play from the Gyrenes’ Chayse Culpepper with 36 seconds left effectively ended FNU’s comeback hopes.
Robinson led the way with 18 points, three rebounds and five assists. Debrito put up 15 points on just 4-13 shooting while Cubillan and Cardenas ended the night with 12 points.
Up Next: FNU prepares for Skinner Classic next week hosted by the University of Fort Lauderdale.