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Men's basketball: FIU-UALR recap

Let's face it, last night was pretty ugly for the Panthers. After the game, coach Isiah Thomas seemed frustrated (I would be too) with the performance the guys showed against UALR.

The Trojans manhandled FIU the entire game, easily winning 78-70. FIU was down from the start, falling to a 43-28 halftime deficit.

"They played a really good first half. Their movement was excellent,'' Thomas said, after the game. "We didn't play the way we practiced."

Defensively, FIU (8-10, 3-3 SBC) had no answer for UALR, letting the Trojans get uncontested looks at the rim the whole game. The Trojans' defense shutdown the Panthers in the first-half, limiting FIU to only 25 percent (6 of 24) from the field.

"We were out of rhythm, out of sync on offense," Thomas said.

The first-half was made even harder for FIU, when leading scorer Erik Frederick picked up two early fouls. Thomas pulled him soon after, with Frederick playing only 4 minutes in the first period. Frederick returned in the second half, scoring 5 points in 22 minutes of play in the game.

"It made a huge difference," Thomas said about Frederick. "He's our inside threat."

FIU was able to outscore UALR, 42-35 in the second-half, but by then the game was almost out of hand. FIU cut the Trojans' lead to four points late in the game twice. Both times, it looked FIU might have enough to take the lead, but UALR proved to be too much.

The one bright spot for FIU came on the foul-line. The Panthers shot 29 of 33, including 13 of 16 in the second half.

"We were able to manufacture points from the foul-line, which was a good thing," Thomas said. "Again, we were in such a hole the first-half, that everything you tried to do in the second half, you had to be perfect."

Guard Jeremy Allen had a game-high 18 points and was 7 of 7 on free throws. Allen was essential in the Panthers short lived come back, scoring 9 points in the second half. The Panthers had 5 players in double digits.

UALR used the three-point shot effectively, helping to keep the Golden Panthers at bay. Earlier in the week, coach Thomas spoke about the need of having to defend the three-pointer. Even though the Panthers limited UALR to a season-low 7 three-pointers on 18 attempts, the shots the Trojans made were huge.

FIU was terrible from beyond the arch, hitting just one shot on 13 attempts.

Of concern for FIU is the fact that a smaller UALR out rebounded them, 37-26. FIU had a size advantage at every position, except point guard, Thomas said after the game. The disparity was even greater in the first-half, with UALR leading 26 to 11 rebounds. The lack of rebounding helped UALR get multiple second-chance baskets. UALR lead 12 to 4 on offensive rebounds at halftime.

"We didn't do a good enough job on the rebounds," Thomas said.

FIU improved in the second period on rebounds, winning 15 to 11, including 7 to 3 on the offensive glass.



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Justin way to bring it!

I'm enjoying your coverage much more than Adam's "copy and paste" strategy.

The first-half was made even harder for FIU, when leading scorer Erik Frederick picked up two early fouls. Thomas pulled him soon after, with Frederick playing only 4 minutes in the first period. Frederick returned in the second half, scoring 5 points in 22 minutes of play.

Question...how can he play 22 minutes in the second half when there are only 20 minutes in the half??

@El Fantasma, Frederick played 4 minutes in the first half and 18 minutes in the second half, for 22 minutes total.

good write up, but just for future reference it's not "non-costed looks" its uncontested looks.

I thank you for the article, keep doing your job at least we can read the recap online here.

I think a big part of our trouble when it came to rebounding was Ferguson's apprehension when taking Fredrick's place. E-Fred is more physically mature, and has played at the JUCO level, so he is used to bigger bodies and more physical players, but D-Ferg really needed to pick up the aggression. If he drove to the basket more, and contested more for rebounds things might have been different.

Also, defensively, we just gave them too many open looks. We shouldn't have, and it hurt us, we cannot do that.

It's always so weird to me to see this team struggling. It's supposed to be replete with talent. What's wrong? Is it growing pains? Is it issues with the players executing the gameplan? Is it Isiah? What is it?

Isiah Thomas = cancer.

Another idiot comment from Hater #1..

I think bringing in a Top 25 recruiting class and rebuilding this program from bottom up is a pretty good job. I realize Isiah will not be at FIU for the next 25 years but I think if he sticks around for just one or two more season and continues to bring in Top recruits into the program then we will be seeing ANOTHER Sunbelt Championship for FIU and a trip to the big dance! Will it happen this year? I don't know but it will happen sooner then later..

We are ONLY 9 days away from NSD!!

JUSTIN is there ANY way you can answer the question I posted about Spring Ball and the Spring Game..



@Gooch, working on that right now.

Thanks for the note.





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