With the win, FIU improves to 23-10 while Stetson ends its season with an overall ledger of 23-11.
Sophomore Jerica Coley led all scorers on the night with 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor and 3-of-5 shooting from the free throw line. The All-America hopeful has now scored in double-figures in 32 of FIU's 33 games, and the 20-plus point performance marks her 23rd of the season. Coley also contributed eight rebounds, a team-leading seven assists, one block and one steal.
Junior Finda Mansare added 14 points to go along with a team-high 12 rebounds to mark her sixth double-double of the season and seventh of her career. Mansare was 7-of-14 from the field against the Hatters and posted a squad-high-tying two blocks to put her career total at 102, a mark which ranks sixth all-time at FIU.
Also scoring in double-figures was redshirt senior Fanni Hutlassa, who contributed 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-4 shooting from three-point land, and 1-of-2 shooting from the charity stripe. Hutlassa added seven boards, five assists, a squad-high-tying two steals and one block on the night.
Junior Carmen Miloglav also had a stellar night, going 6-of-7 from the field for a season-high 12 points while adding three assists, a career-high-tying two blocks and two rebounds.
As a team, FIU shot 48.6 percent from the floor (34-of-70) while holding Stetson to 26.3 percent shooting (15-of-57). The Panthers dished out 20 assists compared to four for the Hatters, and dominated in the paint, scoring 44 points down low in comparison to 20 for the opposition.
FIU was also stellar on defense, out-rebounding Stetson by a 47-32 margin and winning the blocking battle, 7-5. Both squads committed 11 turnovers, while the Hatters notched six steals against five for the Panthers. FIU was able to score 14 points off turnovers for the night, and the Panthers took advantage of second chances, out-scoring the Hatters 18-9 when getting a second scoring opportunity.
The first half saw FIU strike first on a jumper by Miloglav, and the Panthers remained in control for the stanza, leading by as many as 10 points and going on for a 33-25 halftime lead. Out of the break, it was all FIU as the Panthers took their largest lead of 32 points at 73-41 with 2:41 remaining in the contest. The Hatters managed a few more points before FIU came away with a 75-47 victory.
FIU will next travel to Tampa, Fla., for a second-round WNIT contest versus USF on Saturday night. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. Stay tuned to www.FIUSports.com for more details.
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 17 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls 46,000 students in two campus and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 17 sports. In 2010 the Panthers won their first bowl game. For more information about FIU, visit www.fiu.edu.
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