Panthers fall to Hurricanes in season opener

Women's Basketball Head Coach Tiara Malcom speaks with guard TaMiracle Taylor (10) in the second half as the FIU Golden Panthers defeated the Florida Atlantic University Owls, 86-65, on February 17, 2018, at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Florida. (Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics)

By Dalton Tevlin/Staff Writer



FIU women’s basketball was unable to pull off an upset victory against their cross-town opponent, the Miami Hurricanes on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center as they lost 94-43.

Facing off against the No. 25 team in the nation, the Panthers began the 2018 season on a sour note in their home building.

Miami got off to a hot start utilizing their size advantage to dominate the paint early. Hurricanes’ power forward Beatrice Mompremier made her presence felt immediately, pulling down four rebounds in the first period.

The Panthers’ first and only inside shot attempt during the first period came on a missed layup by forward Shante Walker with 2:43 to go.

FIU tightened things up defensively to begin the second quarter, forcing the Hurricanes to miss their first six field goal attempts.

However, the Panthers failed to take advantage as they converted zero field goals of their own within that stretch, making only a free throw.

Miami continued their domination around the rim as the Hurricanes scored on six layups and out-rebounded the Panthers nine-to-three to finish the half.

Mompremier led the way for the Hurricanes, capping off her strong first half with another six points and five rebounds. Miami finished the second quarter on a 19-9 run.

The Panthers entered halftime down by 20 points with a score of 38-18. FIU was also out-performed on the glass by a ten rebound margin.

Any long-shot that existed for FIU to climb back into the game following the break evaporated due to a barrage of three-pointers by Miami in the second half.

The Hurricanes splashed six shots from beyond the arc in the third quarter, distancing themselves comfortably from the Panthers.

Seven different scorers contributed for Miami in the third, as good ball movement and a balanced passing attack dissected the FIU defense.

Unable to stop the bleeding, the Panthers went two-of-15 on field goal attempts in the period. FIU struggled to make high percentage looks with six missed layups.

Sarah Mortensen was one of the stars of the game, catching fire near the end of the third quarter. She hit three three-pointers, bringing her game total to five.

In the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes continued to feed the hot hand, as Mortensen sniped another three shots from long-range. She finished with a UM record eight 3-pointers in the game.

Mortensen’s 24 points off the bench was a game and career-high as she shattered her previous best of 11 points.

Despite the loss, the Panthers’ coaching staff has high hopes for talented true freshman forward Kylee O’Hara.

O’Hara was given the starting nod due to her versatility and length, yet she struggled offensively in her first ever college game.

The freshman converted zero field goals, and her only points came at the free throw line, although she led the team with five rebounds and one block.

Center Chelsea Guimaraes, who redshirted last year due to transfer rules, put up a team-high 13 attempts but only managed to make three. She contributed zero points in the paint against Miami.

They will have an opportunity to bounce back from the opening loss as they travel to Ft. Myers, Fla. to take on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. Tipoff from the Alico Arena is set for 5 p.m.

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