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Hartford Grabs Last Nonconference Home Game

Hartford's dynamite defense shined in the spotlight as they clinched the final home game before conference play in an 82-69 win over Florida International.

With the non-conference season coming to a close, the Hartford Hawks wanted to walk away with a final victory on their home court. Their last game against Rider was a nail biter near the end, but the first meeting of the Hawks and the Florida International Panthers ended in a 82-69 victory in favor of the home team.

Adrian Diaz may have scored the first points of the game for the Panthers, but Hartford came in roaring back. Junior guard Taylor Dyson hit five shots back-to-back, four of those from beyond the arc. The three point fire caught on with the others as John Carroll, Yolonzo Moore II, Corban Wroe and Wes Cole combined with Dyson's four treys, added for 13 triples overall.

Even though their offense is what scored them points, their defense was something to talk about. What's best to end an 16-8 run? A hard block from Nate Sikma to show the Panthers that their height advantage wasn't going to scare them. FIU's best player, Diaz, happens to also be their tallest. Coming in at 6-11 he towered over the smaller, more guard oriented Hartford team.

Moore had an impressive game wracking up numbers on the stats sheet. Not only did he recorded a game high 19 points, but he grabbed four steals in the process. Mark Nwakamma also grabbed himself three steals. Averaging five steals per game, the Hawks more than doubled that with a season high 12.

The passion that the Hawks were struggling to find since their loss at Yale was in full force tonight. When the guys on the bench and the guys on the court have the same level of energy and excitement, you know something's working. Two of Head Coach John Gallagher's rules is to play with passion and play for each other. It's clear that they were doing both on the court to grab them the win.