MIAMI (Feb. 23, 2012) - Redshirt senior Fanni Hutlassa netted a career-high 26 points to lead the FIU women's basketball team to a 74-52 victory over Sun Belt Conference foe Troy at U.S. Century Bank Arena on Thursday night.
With the win, FIU improves to 19-9 (9-6 SBC) while Troy falls to 2-24 (1-14 SBC). The last time the Panthers reached 19 wins came in 2005-06 when FIU amassed an overall record of 19-13, earning a spot in the WNIT.
Hutlassa went 9-of-14 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc, and 5-of-7 from the free throw line on the night. The guard played 38 minutes, nearly notching a double-double with a team-high nine rebounds, and contributing three assists.
Also eclipsing the 20-point mark against the Trojans was sophomore Jerica Coley with 21 points, as she went 5-of-18 from the field, including a 2-of-4 outing from three-point land, and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Coley has now scored in double-figures in each of FIU's 28 games and owns 20, 20-plus point performances on the season. The All-America hopeful chipped in with seven rebounds and team-high marks of five assists, four steals and two blocks, playing all 40 minutes.
Junior Finda Mansare also posted two blocks on the night, adding 12 points to round out FIU's double-figure scorers. Mansare saw 29 minutes of action, pulling down eight rebounds and dishing out three assists.
As a team, FIU shot 44.8 percent from the floor (26-of-58), while holding Troy to 40.0 percent shooting (22-of-55) for the contest. The Panthers out-rebounded the Trojans by an astounding 47-22 margin, and also won the blocking battle, 4-3.
Troy took an early 4-2 advantage at the 17:32 minute to mark its only lead of the contest. The Trojans managed to fight to a pair of tie scores in the opening stanza, but FIU took control, as the Panthers took a 40-18 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Out of the break, FIU ran out to its largest lead of the game, taking a 28-point advantage at 53-25 with just over 16 minutes left to play. It was all Panthers for the remainder of the contest as FIU went on for the 74-52 victory.
FIU will close out the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 25, when the Panthers host SBC opponent South Alabama. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. at U.S. Century Bank Arena, as Fanni Hutlassa and Sasha Melnikova are set to be honored before playing their final regular season home contest.
For FIU basketball ticket information, visit www.FIUSports.com or call 305-FIUGAME.
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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