As far as this season is concerned, the Panthers probably aren’t going to win any championships, but this is a young team, and they’re already much better than they were last season. With 11 games left in the season, all conference games, FIU (9-11 overall, 3-4 conference) have already surpassed their record from last season (7-24), and tied their amount of conference wins (3-15). The Panthers have a great opportunity to end the regular season with an above .500 record for the first time since the 2012-13 season, when they ended with an 18-14 overall, 11-9 conference record, and advanced all the way to the finals of the, at the time, Sun Belt conference championships.

I know these numbers got you all hot and bothered, but that’s nothing compared to how sweet it felt to watch the Panthers dismantle the 49ers. Junior guard, Eric Lockett was the man on Saturday. In the first half he shot 50% from the field and was a perfect 7 for 7 from the free throw line, good for 13 points! Go ahead and do the math on how many non-free-throw-shots Lockett buried that half. First one to tweet the answer to us, gets to call into the show! Anyway, Sophomore Tr3jon Jacob also had 13 points, going 3 for 5 from the 3-point line, hence the name “Tr3jon”. The real catalyst was FIU’s defense though. The Panthers forced Charlotte into 10 turnovers that first half, and only turned it over themselves three times. Brian Beard Jr., ranked #3 in the nation in steals, had two steals himself in the first half.

The game might as well have ended after the first half. FIU pretty much coasted to the end, with only Lockett, Beard, and Douglas keeping pace with the game. That being said, the Panthers still outscored Charlotte 38-35. The Panthers won by 20 points, 79-59. Eric Lockett put up 17 points in the 2nd half to finish the game with a career-high 30 points. Brian Beard

racked up another 2 steals to put him above his season average. Mike Douglas contributed 16 points in the game, and seven total rebounds. The team’s stars showed up to handle this one.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a young team. Coach Evans has done a good job developing these young guys, most of whom he did not have as freshman, as they were transfers. Lockett, Douglas, and Beard are juniors, and are most likely returning next season. Also most likely to return is sophomore, Tr3jon Jacob, who’s been very fun to watch this season. The kid jumps out of the building, and his energy is felt all through the arena when he goes off. I have a feeling the Panthers will be a threat to win the Conference next season, but this season they’re going to be a dark horse to knockout one of the top seeds. Can’t wait!

For more pictures from this game, please CLICK HERE.

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Gustavo Chacon
Born and raised in the 305! I find it pointless to memorize every sports stat since the beginning of time when I can just look it up. I'm not afraid to tell you why your opinion is 100% wrong. Wanna get into it? Argue with me @OnaPsiH. It'll be fun!

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