Women’s basketball to face off with Troy in the WNIT

Junior point guard Tanajah Hayes dribbling the ball down the court. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Will Duval | Sports Director

The FIU women’s basketball team is traveling to Troy, Alabama to take on the Troy Trojans in the second round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Monday, March 25, 2024.

Coming into this matchup, the Panthers bolster a 21-11 overall record and took a 60-47 win in the most recent matchup against the Stetson Hatters on Thursday, March 21. In that game, the team shot the ball at a much higher percentage than their opponent.

Vs. Stetson:

To begin the game, both teams fought to keep their season alive and kept the score close throughout the first quarter. Graduate student guard Kaliah Henderson knocked down a free throw to give her team a 13-12 lead before the end of the period.

From that point forward, FIU began to take control of the game and secured an advantage on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Over the first five minutes of the quarter, they outscored the Hatters 9-2 and built a 24-18 lead by halftime.

Leaving the break, the Panthers began the third quarter aggressively and scored seven unanswered points. By the end of the quarter, they outscored their opponent 18-8 and built a 16 point lead.

For the remainder of the game, they held a comfortable margin on the scoreboard and never allowed their lead to dip below 11 points. Through a two-way effort from the entire team, FIU took a 60-47 win over Stetson and moved on to the second round of the WNIT.

As a team, the Panthers had a standard shooting performance according to their season statistics, as they shot 40.7% from the field and 28.6% from 3-point distance. This season, they hold a 41% team field goal percentage and have shot 31.1% from long distance as a unit.

Defensively, they limited the shot-making abilities of the Hatters, as they were held to a 31% field goal percentage. Beyond their inability to make shots, they also committed 21 turnovers, which is seven more than their opponent.

Junior point guard Tanajah Hayes led all scorers and finished with 17 points on 5-10 shooting. Outside of her scoring, she made an impact defensively, as she grabbed eight rebounds and came away with three steals.

Looking to keep their momentum alive, FIU is taking on the Troy Trojans in the next round of the WNIT.

Vs. Troy:

Entering this matchup, the Trojans hold a 19-11 season record and took a 67-65 loss in their most recent game against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on March 8. Despite entering the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the second seed, they were eliminated in the first round. 

As a team, Troy struggled with turnovers throughout the entire game and lost the turnover battle 17-8. While they did hold both a higher field goal percentage and 3-point percentage than their opponent, the differential in turnovers proved to be too great to overcome.

Senior forward Ja’Mia Hollings led her team in scoring and finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds. However, she also committed the largest amount of turnovers by a single player in the game and finished with five turnovers.

Beyond Hollings, senior guard Nia Daniel also provided the team with 15 points and four assists on the night. This season, she averages 12.4 points per game and is one of four players to hold a double-digit scoring average for the Trojans.

If the Panthers wish to leave this game victorious, they must be prepared to stop their opponent’s potent offense. Troy averages 80.4 PPG as a team, which is the 13th highest scoring average in the NCAA.

Despite their high scoring average, Troy allows their opponents to score 75.5 PPG, which is the 10th most points allowed in the NCAA. Comparatively, FIU allows their opponent to score an average of 63.3 PPG, nearly 12 points less than their opponent.

Through a strong two-way effort from the entire team, the Panthers have the opportunity to leave this matchup victorious. They must neutralize the Trojans’ high-powered offense and also have an efficient offensive performance themselves.

Moving onto the second round of the WNIT, the FIU women’s basketball team is traveling to Troy, Alabama to take on the Troy Trojans on Monday, March 25, 2024.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in Trojan Arena.


FIU: 77

Troy: 74

Follow Will Duval on X: @WillDuval40

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