MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. ( Nov. 8, 2022) – The Conquistadors executed a close victory over the previously 3-0 Florida Memorial Lions Tuesday night. The 96-90 win came off FNU’s best shooting night from behind the three-point line at 9-17. The Lions entered this home contest with landslide double-digit victories over Carlow University, the University of the Virgin Islands and the University of Fort Lauderdale. Florida National faced a challenging start to their 2022-23 season falling to two top-25 ranked teams in No. 17 Southeastern and No. 21 Florida College.
Florida National and FMU were neck-and-neck for the majority of the contest, trading shots from the initial tipoff. The Conquistadors had a monster night from behind the three-point line due in part to Gabriel Casillas’ 3-6 shooting from behind the arc in the first half. Jovan Debrito continues a productive start to the 2022-23 season knocking down three three-pointers on 4-5 shooting from the field for 11 first-half points. While his teammates were lights-out from the perimeter, Girardi Cubillan was going off from the inside recording 13 points in 17 minutes. But thanks to Tariq Humes’ 10 points off the bench and scattered production from all five of the Lions starters FMU only faced a 48-50 deficit going into the second half.
The shooting woes that plagued Florida National in its first three games seemed to be a thing of the past as the Conquistadors shot 50% from the field for an exceptional second-half performance. Debrito had a critical and efficient 18 points to go along with 5-6 from the free-throw line. Ryan Sanchez had 10 points during the half taking five trips to the charity stripe and connecting on 8-10 shots. Despite trailing for most of the half, FMU stayed hot on FNU’s trail, thanks in part to Miles Jordan-Smartt’s 11 points in the second. The Lions attempted to put the Conquistadors on the free throw line trailing 87-93 with 18 seconds left in the match. But each FNU shooter was composed and a final shot from Debrito on the charity stripe signed, sealed and delivered a Conquistador win.
Debrito ended the night with 29 points, five rebounds and four assists. Cubillan had 21 points and six rebounds.
Up Next: FNU faces exhibition matches against NCAA Division I powerhouse Florida International University on November 10 and Bethune Cookman University on November 14.