Conquistadors execute overtime win over UFTL

Conquistadors execute overtime win over UFTL graphic.
Conquistadors execute overtime win over UFTL. (Dec. 15, 2023)

(Box Score)

HIALEAH, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2023) – Florida National University’s women’s basketball team is now 2-0 in overtime games at Bucky Dent Park, following an exciting 85-78 win over the University of Fort Lauderdale Friday. The Conquistadors (3-5) were able to outlast a tough, shorthanded UFTL (1-11) team by outsourcing the Eagles 15-8 in OT. UFTL shot a staggering 33 free throws and converted on 24 attempts from the line.

Both teams shot well from the field in the first quarter at 50%, but FNU took a 22-17 lead heading into the second. Adalis Arroyo had a great start for FNU with eight points, three assists, and two steals. Tyra Kirlew was dominating in the post, with three boards and six points, all scored from close range. What kept the Eagles within striking distance was a seven-point outing by Esther Joseph and 10 combined points from Kouraje Johnson and Britney Carver.

The Eagles were able to gain some momentum at the end of the second to tie the game at 36 after a clutch three pointer from Carver with four seconds left in the half. They outscored FNU 19-14 in the frame thanks to a perfect 10-10 performance from the free throw line. The Conquistadors’ reserves had solid production, as Kyla Cruz Baez and Delores Charlton posted four points apiece in the period. Another bright spot for FNU on offense was guard Janelisse Marty Marrero’s six points and three assists. 

In the third period, FNU jumped ahead 61-50 after a brilliant 25-point quarter. The Eagles were held to just 14 points, but FNU continued to put their opponent on the line where UFTL went 4-7. Gabriela Solis, Hermione Hicks and Kirlew posted four points in the quarter while Marty Marrero lead all FNU scorers with six. 

The Eagles, however, did not go gently into the good night. UFTL dominated the frame with 20 points while holding FNU to just nine in the fourth. Two made free throws from Joseph cut FNU’s lead to 65-61. Joseph converted a layup after a missed FNU shot and another stellar three from Carver moments later put UFTL up 66-65 with 3:43 left in regulation. With 1:15 on the clock, two made free throws from Carver made it a 70-67 UFTL lead before Kirlew went 1-2 from the line to make it a two-point game. Marty Marrero’s crafty layup with 33 seconds left did just enough to send both teams to overtime.

Arroyo’s knockdown three from the corner made the real difference as FNU jumped to a 77-72 advantage in OT and never looked back. FNU outscored UFTL 13-3 in the final three minutes of play. Arroyo and Marty Marrero combined for 13 of FNU’s 15 overtime points as the Conquistadors handed the Eagles their eleventh loss this season. 

Arroyo shot 4-5 from the three point line and ended her afternoon with 18 points, three steals, five assists and three rebounds. Marty Marrero recorded a near double-double with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Cruz Baez produced off the bench with 11 points.

Up Next: Florida National travels to West Palm Beach, Fla., for a 3:30 p.m. contest versus Midland University to open its stay at the 2023 Cruzin Classic. 

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