Panthers honor seniors during last game of season

Peter Holland, Jr. // Staff Writer

The Panthers honored two of their seniors, Nikolina “Nina” Todorovic and Janka Hegedus, with a tribute video before playing their final collegiate game against University of Alabama-Birmingham. And unfortunately, the Panthers couldn’t give the two seniors the win to close out their season.

The Trailblazers came off a good start, scoring the first five points before starting sophomore Kristian Hudson put the Panthers on the board. UAB shot 80 percent from behind the three-point arc. However, FIU wouldn’t be denied as the team kept the game close throughout the whole the first two quarter.

“I think we came out with a lot of energy and we followed the game plan for the most part in the first half,” said FIU head coach Tiara Malcom.

Both Hegedus and sophomore forward Kiandre’a Pound scored a total of 15 points combined in the first half and a season-high 18 points the entire game. Despite the Panthers shooting .310, they have yet to get a shot from the three-point line until late in the third quarter.  

“KP played pretty very well. I thought she was aggressive from the very beginning,” said Malcom. “She tried to get offensive rebound and actually posted up, which is good. We were able to fear the ball as she gets a free throw line. That’s something we want from KP pretty much all season and she finally showed what she is capable of doing all season.”

UAB outscored the Panthers, while FIU only scored 11 points in the third quarter, trailing 50-33 before the fourth quarter. That’s when the Panthers went on a 10-0 run to make it a competitive game. Despite the Panthers outscoring the trailblazers 19-11 in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough for FIU to get the win.

“We lost it a little bit there and we tried to get it back toward the end of the game, but we just ran out of time,” said Malcom.

FIU will end the season on a 10-game losing streak, with the record of 5-23 (3-13 in C-USA). They are eliminated from C-USA tournament, which will begin on Mar. 8.

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