ST. THOMAS, VI. ( Nov. 3, 2022) – Florida National hit another early-season road bump falling to Philander Smith College 71-41 in the opening game of the University of the Virgin Islands HBCU Classic. FNU battled it out against a stacked Philander Smith team that started the year 3-0 before making the trip to St. Thomas, VI. The Conquistadors came into their first tournament of the year with one loss under their belt, falling to Warner University 50-70.
The first quarter was a struggle for the Conquistadors as they’re shooting woes against the Warner Royals seemed to carry into this match. The Conquistadors shot 4-11 from the field but improved from behind the arc nailing two of the four shots they attempted. Newcomer Kaylee Llanos was 1-3 from behind the arch, and Aaliyah Abdala provided five points off the bench for the Conquistadors. Philander Smith retired the quarter with a 19-10 lead as Dasia Turner gave them six points on 2-5 shooting from the field.
Circumstances only seemed to worsen as the second quarter went underway. Philander Smith struggled shooting going 5-19 from the field but still hung 19 points on the Conquistadors due in part to their 8-10 shooting from the free-throw line. Llanos provided some relief with two quick three-pointers but FNU still trailed 38-17.
In the third Dasia Turner put up another six points and picked up to rebounds in the quarter. Jada Donaldson showed her ability to run the floor picking up four points for the Conquistadors to lead all FNU scores in the third. Florida National did not seem to have an answer on defense as Philander Smith score 19 more points to put the game even more out of reach.FNU’s full-court press slowed its opponent down momentarily until they made the necessary adjustments.
The fourth quarter was promising for FNU as they outscored Philander 16-14 in the final minutes of play to no avail. The final play of the game was a heaving long-distance three from Abdala that founds its way into the net. Abdala and Natalie Larranaga each put up five points in the quarter to cut some of the deficit down before Philander ended the match with a 71-41 victory.
Llanos lead all FNU scores with 12 points and six rebounds, and Abdala had a solid evening tallying 10 points off the bench.
Up Next: The Lady Conquistadors look to bounce back from this loss as they take on Southern University at New Orleans at noon on day two of the UVI HCCU Classic.