Panther Preview: FIU women’s basketball vs. LA Tech

Sophomore guard Tanajah Hayes (Left) for FIU and sophomore guard Amaya Brannon (Right) for LA Tech. Photos courtesy of FIU and LA Tech Athletics.

Allen Blumstein | Staff Writer

The stage is set in Ruston, Louisiana for a showdown between FIU women’s basketball and a hungry Louisiana Tech team on Thursday, Feb. 9. The Lady Techsters will try to protect their home court against a pack of panthers that have won two straight and refuse to be deterred.

Follow the Panthers’ tracks and it will take you back to a narrow victory this past Saturday at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center, where FIU squeaked away with an 84-81 win against the UAB Blazers. All eyes were on 5-6 sophomore guard Tanajah Hayes, who erupted for a career-high 27 points and has been soaking up the limelight ever since.

The fortune cookie read a gut-wrencher for the Lady Techsters as they fell just short to the Rice Owls on Thursday night, losing 60-57. Senior guard Keiunna Walker’s 14 points were not enough to compensate for the rebound differential of 10 favoring Rice. Back home in Louisiana, the Lady Techsters hope to get back on the path of victory.

For the Lady Techsters, the points come from all angles on their 15 women roster. Production is nicely distributed with the team’s three leading scorers: Walker leads the way with 17.1 points per game, junior forward Anna Larr Roberson is behind her with 11.9 PPG and sophomore guard Amaya Brannon falls in third with 8.3 PPG. It will be critical for the Lady Techsters to crash the boards as the Panthers outrebound them 40-34 on average this season.

The Panther’s only two players averaging double figures – senior guard Kaliah Henderson with 14.5 PPG and redshirt freshman guard Sifa Joyeuse with 10.4 PPG – will lead the attack as the Panthers storm into Thomas Assembly Center on Thursday. FIU will have to clean up its act if they want to come out on top as they are committing roughly 21 turnovers a game to the Lady Techsters’ 15.

The writing is on the wall for a clash of the century between the Panthers and Lady Techsters this Thursday at 7 p.m. Two well-rounded teams with matching records of 12-10 will battle it out, and the winner will be decided by who wants it more. It’s going to be a scrappy, evenly-fought contest where both teams will have their chances to dominate. Whether they capitalize or not is a different story.

Tune in to watch the game at 7 p.m. at the following link:

FIU: 66

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