Yeah, it's a headline straight out of 1956. Basketball players used to be called that because netting or fencing surrounded early basketball courts and the name stuck until the late 1970s.
Anyway, the FIU women lost 87-82 to Florida Atlantic up in Boca despite guard Taylor Shade's 26 points, five rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers. Tianah Alvarado tossed in 22 points with seven rebounds before fouling out. The men showed FAU that size matters and smacked the Owls in the face with Adrian Diaz, whom FIU insists on calling "The Hialeah Hammer" (sounds like a by-the-book cop who works Okeechobee Road). Diaz went six of eight from the field, 11 of 17 from the line for 23 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, blocked three shots and got two steals.
So, the men sit at 7-7, 1-0 in Conference USA play going to Western Kentucky and Marshall this week while the women are 3-9, 0-1 hosting those two schools at Camp Mitch.
FAU's men came into Sunday with wins only over Lesser Miami (of Ohio) and a song (Ave Maria). The Owls' leading scorer, sophomore forward C.J. Turman, is transferring and they didn't have injured backup guard Marquan Botley, a junior guard second in assists and steals who plays 20.5 minutes per game. FIU should spank the Owls they way they did. Diaz should Godzilla the Boca Boys the way he did. Then again, mediocre mid-major teams don't always do what they should so that FIU did is to its credit.
“The whole season is about progress and growth," FIU coach Anthony Evans said. "I think the team has more confidence in each other. Now, on the floor, if somebody gets beat, Adrian’s going to be there. The guards are making a conscious effort to keep people in front of them, so they don’t get easy shots, layups. They’re maturing, getting better."