TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2023) – Despite a solid Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) win against Voorhees University on Jan. 26, Florida National University’s women’s basketball team drops a close game to the Crowley’s Ridge College Pioneers (11-7) to end its stay at the CAC Classic hosted by Florida College. The Conquistadors (8-10) were denied a perfect tournament appearance by a fundamentally sound Pioneers team that lit up the court from long range.
In the first quarter, the Conquistadors trailed by just three points yet went a mere 6-18 (33.3%) from the floor. While the Pioneers shot about the same from the court at 38.5% (5-13) what saved them was a hot streak from behind the three point line. Crowley’s ridge connected on four of 10 three pointers attempted in the period and won the rebounding battle 11-9. Natalie Larranaga got off to a great start with six points and five rebounds in just eight minutes of play.
Before the break, the Pioneers exploded offensively, outscoring FNU 20-10 in the second quarter. CRC’s Octavia Lowery scored as many points as the entire FNU team with 10 points on 4-6 shooting. Both teams did a good job of minimizing turnovers at just two apiece. Janelisse Marty Marrero led the way for FNU in the period with four points and one assist.
With the second half underway, FNU found its identity on defense forcing the Pioneers into bad shots. CRC shot just 5% (1-19) as FNU outscored them 17-4. Larranaga was at the center of the Conquistadors’ brilliant third quarter, putting up nine points on 3-5 shooting. With the score settled at 40-40, it came down to a tumultuous fourth quarter to decide a winner in this conference battle.
The final frame got off to an electric start for FNU, as a couple of jumpers from Larranaga and Jaycee Omeir awarded the Conquistadors a four-point lead. But the Pioneers went on to outscore FNU 11-2 with 5:23 left in the game. The Conquistadors never really recovered from that point on as the Pioneers did just enough to close the door on a Conquistador comeback win.
Larranaga put up a solid double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Marty Marrero scored 16 points and collected six rebounds. Omeir recorded all of the bench points for the Conquistadors with six
Up Next: The Lady Conquistadors return home Feb. 3 to host Johnson University of Florida at 3:00 p.m.