HIALEAH, Fla. ( Jan. 18, 2023) – Dramatically, Florida National University’s men’s basketball team (4-10) conquered its fourth win of the 2023 season and its second win against Florida Memorial University (10-10), Wednesday night. The 81-73 victory saw five FNU players reach double digits, as FNU improves to 2-2 at Bucky Dent Park.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle as FNU trailed 32-37 at the break. Matthew Robinson was feeling it from long range, going 2-5 from behind the arc and tallying 10 points to lead FNU in the first. The Lions were consistent from the field shooting 53.6% (15-28), as center Emmanuel Umoffia had a near double-double with 14 points and seven rebounds. The Continental Athletic Conference Player of the Week, Jovan Debrito, went 3-6 from downtown for nine points before the break.
In the second half, FNU’s offense began firing on all cylinders, as big man Jordan Cardenas added six points to an eight-point first-half performance. The center from Ecuador showed off his shooting ability going 4-4 from the charity stripe and knocking down a smooth jumper to cut FMU’s lead in the second.
A steal by Ronald Fernandez, set up a fast break layup for Debrito as FNU took a 43-41 lead with 17 minutes left in the contest. FNU looked poise to keep this game under control, nursing a 67-57 lead after three made free-throws from Robinson. But the Lions came roaring back, scoring eight straight points to cut the lead to just four with 2:13 left in the half.
Things went from bad to worse after a foul by Robinson put Rod Boggan on the line for two easy points. With the game sitting at 71-67, Debrito took matters into his own hands, icing the game with a clutch three-pointer with 1:12 to play. FNU went on to score their seven final points at the free-throw line to close out the 81-73 win at home.
Debrito had another massive performance with 20 points and four rebounds while Robinson dropped 19 points. Yasmani Torriente and Jordan Cardenas did a great job off the bench recording 10 and 14 points, respectively. Marcos Molina led the team in assists with five for the night, and he managed to pick up 10 points in 32 minutes of play.
Up Next: The Conquistadors take on Voorhees next Friday on the road.