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FIU Panthers vs. Old Dominion Monarchs January 18, 2018

Roary day FIU
It’s Roary Night here at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center (FIU Arena), meaning free yellow dad hats for the first 400 students who show up. Yeah, free!! Also, a basketball game went down. The Monarchs of Old Dominion traveled their way from Norfolk, Virginia, all the way to 8th St. Croqueta Town, to take on the Panthers of FIU for a Conference USA battle. Oh, boy was this an ugly one.

The Monarchs came into the game with a 13-4 overall record and 4-1 in conference play. The Panthers were at 8-10 with a 2-3 record in conference play. I’m not really sure what the game plan was for either team, but if it was to make the least amount of shots as possible, then I guess it kind of made sense. I don’t think there’s a single adjective to describe the abysmal 1st half I witnessed, so I’ll simply use reactions I heard (my reactions) to depict how it went down; “c’mon man”, “bro…” and “IT’S A FREE THROW!” Missed jump shots are one thing, but missing free throws too? It was like if one player missed one free throw, the following player taking free throws said “Hahaha, bro watch this,” and goes on to miss two in a row. Like I said, if the game plan was to not make shots, then both teams were excellent at that end. FIU shot 34.5% from the field, Old Dominion at 33.3%. To top it off, the Monarchs committed nine turnovers. Great defense for the Panthers, but they were never able to take full advantage of those turnovers. Brain Beard Jr. of FIU was their leading man in the half with 9 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Randy Haynes of Old Dominion lead the way with 10 points.
The 2nd half was a completely different story, at least for Old Dominion. Monarchs coach Jeff Jones had to have said something like “guys, let’s make some shots,” and the players were all “oh, ok.” They entered the 2nd half with a higher energy that FIU could not match. The Panthers continued their game plan to keep missing shots and started to turn the ball over, and before you know it, the Monarchs had a double-digit lead. However, the home team always makes a run. The game started to get away from the Panthers as the Monarchs built the lead to 14, but a run lead by Trejon Jacob and Michael Douglas suddenly gave them life, leaving them only down six. Momentum shifting, the crowd is getting loud, FIU may have a chanc… big shot by Old Dominion. FIU brings the ball back, missed shot, Monarchs ball, another big shot… and another… and another. Just like that, Old Dominion is in complete control of the game, and eventually go on to win 64-54.
Old Dominion turned the switch from the 1st to the 2nd half, shooting 54.2% for the half. FIU never got out of their shooting slump, finishing the game at 35.1%. ODU’s Randy Haynes had a strong finish after an impressive first half, finishing the game with 18 points including 4-5 from 3pt land. Trey Porter of The Monarchs scored 12 of his 15 points in the 2nd half. FIU’s Brian Beard Jr. finished the game with 16 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Eric Lockett added 10 points, 8 rebounds for the Panthers. The FIU Panthers next play the Charlotte 49ers on January 20 at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.

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