By Brett Shweky/Sports Director
So far this season, the FIU women’s basketball team has featured an abundance of freshmen players.
Most recently, freshman forward Shante Walker had her first career 20-point game against the Georgetown Hoyas on Nov. 29, as she led her team in scoring and also added eight rebounds to lead the team in that category as well.
Walker is one of the many freshmen, who have contributed to the team at a high level thus far.
Freshman guard Lauryn Snipes and freshman forward Callie Cavanaugh have also had a key impact on the team this season. Both have played in critical moments this season as well and have received a significant amount of playing time.
Cavanaugh, who is averaging 22.1 minutes-per-game, is fourth on the team in scoring with a 6.1 average and is also shooting a team-leading 48.6% from the floor.
Snipes has started in seven games for the Panthers, while averaging 4.9 points-per-game and 4.6 rebounds-per-game.
With the team having played so many high caliber opponents this season, such as the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the FGCU Eagles, Head Coach Tiara Malcom explained that regardless of the losses, the team can still build upon them and find the silver lining.
“The positive of it is we’ve been playing quality opponents, and so now we have to start stringing things together, knowing that we’ve had moments of success,” said Malcom.
Through the first seven games of the season, FIU has posted a (2-5) record. Their two wins on the season have come against Air Force and Charleston Southern University, both at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
One of the toughest test to date for the freshmen, was against the 24-ranked Miami Hurricanes in the season opener on Nov. 10.
Walker, Snipes, and Cavanaugh made their collegiate debuts in that game and contributed to the team right from the start. Walker scored 12 points and also added three rebounds, while Snipes contributed with 10 points and also three rebounds.
Following the team’s disappointing loss to the cross-town rival Hurricanes, Coach Malcom explained that even though FIU lost, she felt that the team played well.
“I don’t do moral victories, but I told my players I’m very proud of them,” said Coach Malcom. “We are not a deep team, but they fought and everyone that played contributed.”
Malcom discussed how she feels that biggest issue for the team thus far is the inconsistency the team displays from one half to another.
“We need to figure out how to put two halves together. Going from the first to the second, and coming out of the locker room at halftime, and just being ready to play, like right from the get go,” said Malcom. “We have to find a way to get ourselves to that point.”
The Panthers will continue their road trip, as the squad takes on the Morgan State Bears in Baltimore, Maryland. Tipoff from the Talmadge L. Hill Field House will begin at 5:30 p.m.