FIU wins Sun & Fun Classic

Jackson Wolek

Sophomore Jerica Coley, the third leading scorer in the country with 24.2 points per game, continued to rack up double-digit scoring numbers during the break leading the Panthers to a 10-5 record overall, 0-2 in conference.

Coley scored 18 points on Delaware State and a career high 35 points against Jacksonville State in the Comfort Inn Holiday Classic to earn her MVP of the tournament. Fanni Hutlassa made the all-tournament team, averaging 13.5 points and eight rebounds.

Coley also became MVP of the Sun & Fun Classic held at FIU and scored 28 points in the win versus Auburn as the Panthers won the title for the 13th time. Coley and Hutlassa made all-tournament team as well.

Men’s Basketball

The men’s basketball team started the winter break by traveling to Texas for the Lumberjack E-Tech Classic.
The team saw a familiar face, former Panther Eric Frederick, who transfered out of FIU to Texas Wesleyan.

Frederick’s team got the best out of his old club, defeating FIU 72-68. The Panthers almost came up with the biggest upset in school history at Maryland on Dec. 14, coming four points short, 65-61.

In that game, leading scorer DeJuan Wright injured his knee in the first half and has not been back since that game.
Isiah Thomas’ team added some height during the break, as 6-10 Brandon Moore returned against Bowling Green to notch a career high 10 points in the loss. Also, new big man Joey De La Rosa, 6-11, made his debut against Middle Tennessee where he put in four points and four rebounds and followed it with nine points and three rebounds in a win against Western Kentucky.


The prize for the most successful season in FIU history was a trip to the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl to play Conference USA opponent Marshall in St. Petersburg. It was a defensive battle for most of the game, and T.Y. Hilton scored the Panthers lone touchdown with 1:31 remaining in the first quarter.
FIU did not reach the endzone again. With the score tied 10-10 late in the fourth quarter, Josh Brisk had his punt blocked, setting up the Herd to kick a 39-yard field goal to take the lead.

Ensuing FIU possession, Hilton coughed up the ball back to Marshall, which set up freshman quarterback Rakeem Cato to find Aaron Dobson for a 31-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left in the game to seal the FIU loss 20-10.

After the game, head coach Mario Cristobal did not comment on his future as the FIU head coach, despite rumors circulating that he was a top candidate for the University of Pittsburgh coaching job. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cristobal interviewed for the Pittsburgh gig, but two days later, former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was hired for that position.

Cristobal is currently in talks of another contract extension, only four months after receiving a five-year extension in August of 2011.

Swimming and Diving

FIU won the UALR Christmas invitational on Dec. 2 by scoring 902.5 points, with second place Henderson State scoring only 676.5 points.

Both Sonia Perez Arau and Sabrina Beaupre had career days by breaking multiple records.

Arau broke the previous FIU record she once held in the 200 back with a time of 2:02.53 and the 400 Individual Medley record at FIU with a time of 4:25.97. She also posted the best time of the holiday event at 2:05.29 in the 200 Individual Medley.

In diving, Sabrina Beaupre broke two FIU and Sun Belt records that she had held and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Beaupre posted a score of 323.85 in her 1-meter and 356.0 in her three-meter dive.

On Dec.20 the team notched six victories against North Texas and five against Alabama while Beaupre took first in the 1-meter and three-meter again, making it 10 wins on the season. Arau was able to capture gold in the 500-Freestyle event with a time of 5:01.94.

The team also captured victories in the Orange Bowl Classic on Jan. 4 and FIU relays on Jan. 5 over the break.

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