Panther Hoopsters Fall Short 72-59 Despite Leading at Half against DI Florida International

MIAMI, Fla. (men’s basketball) — Junior guard E.J. Murray (Rockledege, Fla.) made it back to the starting line-up after a rough start of the 2006-’07 season
off knee injury sustained in the Panthers season opener. Despite an incredible first half lead 34-30 heading into the locker room; Tech could not prevent
the DI Florida International Golden Panthers from pulling off the victory 72-59 at the Pharmed Arena tonight.

Junior three-guard Arthur Richardson (Niceville, Fla.) led the crimson and gray cagers with 13 points chipping in five rebounds.

Junior forward Jod Kelley (McCormick, S.C.) added 11 points for the Panthers going 6-for-8 from the charity stripe.

Dejon Prejean (Compton, Cal.) came off the bench with a game-high 17 points while Golden Panthers’ teammates Alex Galindo (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico) and
Johwen Villegas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) added 13 points a piece.

Florida Tech shot 50-percent (11-22) in the first half and an even better 62.5-percent (5-8) from beyond the 3-point arc en route to a 34-30 halftime lead.
The Panthers extended that advantage early in the second half to 42-33 on a Richardson 3-pointer with 17:35 to play.

FIU finally took the lead at 52-50 on a Villegas trey with 8:51 to play but couldn’t shake the Panthers until the final moments of the game.

Florida International (4-5) by as many as seven points at 62-55 after a Galindo lay-up with 3:26 to play before Tech made one final push. A sophomore Ryan
Ballard (Melbourne, Fla.) trey and a Kelley free throw cut the margin to 62-59 with 1:53 to play.

But FIU closed out the game with a 10-0 run, with the help of 7-of-7 from the free throw line in the last 46 seconds of the contest.

Florida Tech (2-5) will be on an 8:00 a.m. flight tomorrow to travel to Fairbanks, Alaska making the 15 hour trip. The Panthers will open up against Alaska
Anchorage on Friday, December 8th in the opener Glacier Classic at 5:00 p.m. AKT (9:00 p.m. EST)and finish off play against host Alaska Fairbanks in the
final game on December 9th at 7:00 p.m. AKT (11:00 p.m. EST).

Remember to check out E.J. Murray’s Daily blog via the website to gain a student-athlete’s perspective of the trip across the country at the following
link:  The games can be
followed via audio cast at  and to follow the live stats
click on the following GameTracker link:

Newspaper Box Score
Florida Tech vs Florida International
12/05/06 5:30 p.m. at Miami, Fla. (Pharmed Arena)
At Miami, Fla. (Pharmed Arena)

RICHARDSON, Arthur 5-9 1-1 13; KELLEY, Jod 2-3 6-8 11; MURRAY, EJ 3-11 1-2
9; McNALLY, Carl 3-8 1-1 9; SEDLAK, Justin 3-7 1-1 8; MRKSIC, Janko 3-4 0-0
6; BALLARD, Ryan 1-5 0-0 3; ZELLER, Sean 0-0 0-0 0; CLARK, Damien 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals 20-48 10-13 59.

Prejean, Dejon 6-13 5-7 17; Villegas, Johwen 4-15 3-3 13; Galindo, Alex 4-13
4-6 13; Giorgi, Facundo 3-6 3-3 9; Fuller, Chris 2-3 3-4 7; Bright, Marlon
3-4 0-0 6; Gacesa, Nikola 1-4 3-5 5; James, Michael 1-4 0-0 2; Lora, Elvis
0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-62 21-28 72.

Florida Tech……………… 34 25 – 59
Florida International……… 30 42 – 72

3-point goals–Florida Tech 9-23 (McNALLY, Carl 2-6; RICHARDSON, Arthur 2-4;
MURRAY, EJ 2-6; SEDLAK, Justin 1-2; KELLEY, Jod 1-2; BALLARD, Ryan 1-3),
Florida International 3-16 (Villegas, Johwen 2-6; Galindo, Alex 1-3; Bright,
Marlon 0-1; James, Michael 0-2; Giorgi, Facundo 0-3; Prejean, Dejon 0-1).
Fouled out–Florida Tech-KELLEY, Jod, Florida International-None.
Rebounds–Florida Tech 32 (MRKSIC, Janko 6; SEDLAK, Justin 6), Florida
International 39 (Prejean, Dejon 8). Assists–Florida Tech 11 (MURRAY, EJ 4;
BALLARD, Ryan 4), Florida International 15 (James, Michael 5). Total
fouls–Florida Tech 21, Florida International 14. Technical fouls–Florida
Tech-None, Florida International-TEAM. A-470

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