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FIU Comeback Falls Short in 77-61 WNIT Loss to USF
          Release: 03/17/2012
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TAMPA, Fla. (March 17, 2012) - The FIU women's basketball team dropped a hard-fought decision to USF on Saturday night at the USF Recreation Center as the Bulls defeated the Panthers by a 77-61 score in the second round of the 2012 Postseason WNIT.

Sophomore Jerica Coley led all scorers with 30 points, going 8-of-21 from the field and 14-of-16 from the free throw line, as she has now scored in double-figures in 33 of FIU's 34 games this season. The All-America hopeful's 20-plus point outing marks her 24th of the campaign while her 30-point performance marks her eighth of the season.

Coley added a game-high 14 rebounds to notch her fourth double-double of the season and seventh of her career. The point guard also recorded team-leading totals of five assists, four blocks and two steals on the night.

Also posting a double-double was redshirt senior Fanni Hutlassa with 10 points and 10 boards, good for her third double-double of the season and fifth of her career. Playing in her final collegiate contest, Hutlassa contributed two assists and one steal, and she ends her career holding the FIU record for games played with 133 appearances.

Freshman Kamika Idom rounded out FIU's double-figure scorers with 13 points on 2-of-4 shooting from three-point land and 7-of-8 shooting from the charity stripe. Idom also added six rebounds and one steal in the loss.

As a team, FIU shot 31.6 percent from the floor (18-of-57) while USF shot 37.3 percent from the field (25-of-67). The Bulls out-rebounded the Panthers by a narrow 46-44 margin and USF totaled 10 steals against four for FIU. Coley single-handedly out-blocked USF as a team, 4-3, for the game.

The USF bench out-scored the FIU reserves, 30-13, for the contest and the Bulls recorded 24 second-chance points compared to 10 such points for the Panthers. The Bulls out-scored the Panthers in the paint by a 36-26 margin, while FIU scored 18 points off 14 turnovers against 14 points off 20 turnovers for USF.

USF took an early lead at 7-6 on a three-point play with 14:50 remaining in the opening stanza and never looked back, taking a 36-22 lead into the halftime break. The Bulls would lead by as many as 22 in the second half, but the Panthers would not go away, fighting back to within 10 at 66-56 with 4:45 left to play. However, FIU's comeback fell short as USF came away with the 77-61 victory.

FIU ends the 2011-12 campaign with an overall record of 23-11, posting the program's highest win total since the 2000-01 season.

About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 17 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.

About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls 46,000 students in two campus and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 17 sports. In 2010 the Panthers won their first bowl game. For more information about FIU, visit

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Sophomore Jerica Coley registered 30 points and 14 rebounds for her seventh-career double-double.
Sophomore Jerica Coley registered 30 points and 14 rebounds for her seventh-career double-double.

Courtesy: Richard Lewis
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