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Panthers and Miners tango on Thursday for first C-USA victory

Gaby Velasquez

After three weeks of harsh road games and travel, the men’s basketball team is finally back home for the next three games and will play at the Don Haskins Center for seven of their next nine games. First on the list for the Miners is FIU on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Florida International, like the Miners, have been struggling this season in both non-conference play and league games. FIU (4-12, 0-3 C-USA) has lost eight of their last nine games, but under their three seasoned letter returners, the Panthers are hungry for a win. The Miners are looking to break their six-game home losing streak on Thursday night.

Under returning starters senior guard Anthony Boswell, senior guard Donte McGill and sophomore guard Kimar Williams, FIU are inching closer to a victory.

In fact, McGill is fourth in the conference with 18.8 points per game. Also, he’s first in the conference for his impressive 92.4 percent shooting from the free throw line, which ranks him 10th nationally. Omega Harris of the Miners is the only UTEP player who is in the top-10 in Conference USA for points per game. The Panthers also brings Alabama transfer Michael Kessens who leads the conference with 14.1 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game.

“[Kessens] is a very good player. They rely on their guards that are both fine, fine players, probably the equal of what we have in the backcourt,” head coach Tim Floyd said. “They just have more bodies than we have right now. A lot of guys have come off the bench and played well for them. We have had a struggle in that area. They are going to present other issues for us.”

One of the issues Floyd did not mention is the FIU dominance on the boards. FIU ranks third in rebound margin, marking a +5.4 rebounds per game. The Miners, on the other end, have a -1.5 rebound margin against teams.

Omega Harris and Dominic Artis lead the Miners in scoring, which have accounted for 59.5 percent of the team’s points. However, the Miners have been outscored 322-201 this year thus far.

“We’re going to have to do a lot of things right,” Floyd said. “Every possession is huge for our team. Guys can’t get in foul trouble.”

Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

Follow Adrian Broaddus on Twitter @adrian_broaddus

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About the Contributors
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
Gaby Velasquez, Photo editor
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Panthers and Miners tango on Thursday for first C-USA victory