Panthers scrape by with win against Barry University in exhibition game

By: Rebecca Charur/Staff Writer

FIU women’s basketball narrowly escaped a loss as the Panthers beat Barry 60-57 on Friday, Nov. 7. The season’s last exhibition game proved to be a nail-biter with the game coming down to the final seconds. There, the game was decided by some critical free throws from a few clutch players.

The Panthers, led by junior guard Taylor Shade, came out firing in the first half. A 14-4 run appeared to have given the team some breathing room, until Barry came fighting back just before half time. The tide had begun to turn in the Buccaneer’s favor as Barry hit consecutive three pointers fueled by several solid defensive plays.

Despite an impressive defensive performance from Barry, who held the Panthers to a field goal percentage of 31.4 percent,  FIU managed to keep control of the game and the lead, ending the half with a score of 26-23.

In the third quarter, Barry continued right from where they left off before going into the half. This time, however, they succeeded in taking the lead from FIU, after a progressive start where they knocked down three consecutive field goals.

This dominating pattern continued throughout a large portion of the second half.

Still, the Panthers fought back, creating second chance opportunities from 20 total offensive rebounds and even more scoring opportunities by forcing 15 Buccaneer turnovers in the game.

Eventually FIU overcame the nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter and tied the game at 57-57. And at the end of the game, they put themselves in a good enough position to just sneak by Barry with the help of some critical last second free throws from junior guard Destini Feagin, senior guard/forward Zsofia Labady, and senior forward Tynia McKinzie to ensure a victory for the Panthers.

McKinzie led the way with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals, while senior forward/center Marita Davydova recorded 18 rebounds. Both women played an important role in Friday night’s victory by setting the tone on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball thanks to their efficient rebounding effort. FIU finished with 46 total rebounds and 18 second chance points coming from their 20 offensive rebounds.

Feagin, Labady, and sophomore guard Nikolina Todorovic also impacted the game with their scoring. Labady and Todorovic both finished with eight points, while Feagin finished with nine.

Shade finished with four assists and two steals. Shade and McKinzie contributed to the defense with their respective steals, adding to the 15 recorded turnovers. The 16 points that came from these turnovers, along with 18 second chance points, may have been the difference between a win and a loss in such a tight game.

The Panthers will be returning to the U.S. Century Bank Arena on Friday, Nov. 14, at 5:30 p.m. to host Tennessee Tech in their first regular-season game.

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