This time it was Florida International’s Malik Smith. He made 8 of 10 three-pointers and finished with 25 points as the Golden Panthers blew UALR away in the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals.
The rest of the FIU roster made just 3 of 16 three-pointers on the night.
No idea how Rick Hartzell gets to officiate UALR games. Hartzell, the former athletic director at Northern Iowa, once kicked UALR Athletic Director Chris Peterson out of a game. The two have had an icy relationship since Hartzell’s days as Athletic Director at Northern Iowa. Hartzell also officiated the last UALR-FIU game in Miami.
Also on Saturday’s crew was Vladimir Voyard-Todal, who was on the crew for last Saturday’s foul fest between UALR and ASU in Little Rock.
Having said that, UALR's players never adjusted to the way this crew was calling the game. FIU used constant pressure, banking on the fact that this crew wasn't going to call fouls every possession. FIU piled up the fouls but was able to absorb them.
STAT OF THE GAME
22-14. FIU outscored UALR 22-14 in points in the paint. That shouldn’t be possible considering FIU’s lineup featured only one player taller than 6-6. Yet, UALR couldn’t get the ball to the paint with any consistency against the FIU pressure.
Turn it down: Both teams had 21 turnovers. Apparently FIU can play that way. UALR obviously can’t. Grade: F.
Come to paint: FIU dominated inside all night long. Grade: F.
Free love: FIU’s constant pressure produced lots of fouls. And UALR made more free throws (21) than FIU attempted (19). Grade: A.
Just not finding much.
UALR made 5 of their last 40 three-point attempts against FIU this season, including 3 of 18 on Saturday.
UALR had 21 turnovers, many in the back court that led to easy FIU baskets.
FIU was the favorite and easily covered the spread.
All predictors went with FIU. Real Time RPI is the season champion.
See you in November.