HIALEAH, Fla. ( Dec. 21, 2022) – Following a tumultuous first quarter, Florida National University’s Lady Conquistadors found themselves in a battle against the Johnson and Wales University Providence Wildcats. An impressive execution of a full-court press throughout the second half allowed FNU (5-6) to force their way to a 61-43 win over the Wildcats (3-6), earning their second home win of the 2022-23 season. The victory also signals an opening victory for the Conquistadors at the Florida National University’s 2022 Christmas Classic.
The first quarter saw more turnovers on both sides than points. The Wildcats held an 8-5 advantage at the end of the period and FNU had coughed the ball up seven times. JWU also caught a case of the turnover bug, picking up nine of their own in the same period.
In the second, JWU came out hot from behind the three-point line, as Peyton Ryan went 5-6 from behind the arc for 15 of JWU’s 17 points in the period. FNU went a mere 5-17 (29.4%) from the field trailing 25-17 at the break. Janelisse Marty Marrero was one of the few bright spots for the Conquistadors with seven points in the second to keep her team right on JWU’s tail.
FNU was desperate to get production from someone other than Marty Marrero, and freshman Kaylee Llanos rose to the occasion with 14 third-quarter points. The Hialeah, Fla., native went 3-7 from behind the arc to catapult her team to within two points of the leading Wildcats. Marty Marrero provided a solid four points as FNU looked prime to go on a run trailing 43-41 at the end of the third. FNU’s full-court press caused havoc on the Wildcats, forcing 18 turnovers in the last two quarters.
The fourth saw a complete shutdown of JWU’s offense as FNU kept them scoreless while hanging 20 points on the visiting Wildcats. FNU’s first-ever Continental Athletics Conference (CAC) Player of the Week Natalie Larranaga showed some signs of life with six points in the period as Marty Marrero picked up eight points on powerful drives to the basket and quick pull-up jumpers.
Marty Marrero ended her night with a team-high 19 points along with four rebounds and two assists. Llanos and Larranaga recorded 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Up Next: FNU women’s basketball takes on the University of Fort Lauderdale Friday at 12 p.m. to close out the FNU Christmas Classic.