Peter Holland Jr. // Staff Writer
The Panthers received their third win of the season after an outstanding performance by both starting guards Alexis Gordon and Kristian Hudson, who combined for 40 points in their 65-74 victory against conference rival Florida Atlantic University.
After a shaky first half of trailing behind the Owls, the Panthers shot over 60 percent on the court in the second half. Three FIU players finished the game in double figures to get their first Conference USA win of the year.
“This was a total team win today,” said Head Coach Tiara Malcom. “We followed the game plan and I saw them commit themselves to playing defense and that’s why we came out on top. We have not been great coming out of the half, and I think we committed ourselves to playing well, and that was important.”
Gordon started the game by going 3-3 in three-point shots in the first quarter. Then the freshman closed the deal with her last three-point attempt to end the game. The Palm Bay native finished with 19 points and 5-7 in three-point shots made.
“I was very comfortable today,” said Gordon. “The past few games, my shots have not been falling. But, today, things were flowing, and I kept shooting.”
Hudson played lights out in the second half after only scoring four points in the first half. The sophomore put up 17 points in the final two quarters and gave the Panthers the upper hand.
Along with finishing the game with 21 points, the Birmingham native also put up nine assists and eight steals. She was only one assist shy of a double-double. Hudson found connection with starting forward Janka Hegedus inside the paint, and the Hungarian senior finished the game with 18 points and seven rebounds.
“I am trying to be aggressive, but under control, so I can make the shots,” said Hudson. “Janka works extremely hard. When I have a chance to feed it to her, I try to.”
The Panthers are now 3-11 (1-2 in C-USA) in the season. They will be looking for their first back-to-back victory of the season in their next two home games. FIU will be back on Lime Court on Thursday, Jan. 12 to face University of Texas El Paso at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Jan 14 the team will gear up to play against University of Texas San Antonio at 2 p.m.