FNU falls short of the CAC title to the RV Bobcats 67-51

FNU women's basketball players in a huddle at Keiser University.
FNU falls short of the CAC title to the RV Bobcats 67-51. (March 3, 2024)

(Box Score)

LAWRENCE, KS. (March 3, 2024) – Florida National University’s women’s basketball team (15-11) snapped an 11-game win streak, falling to the RV College of the Ozarks Bobcats (24-7) in the 2024 Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) Women’s Basketball Championship game. The Bobcats exit Lawrence, Kansas, as CAC champions after defeating FNU 67-51 and were able to avenge a 73-56 loss to the Conquistadors on Jan. 13. 

Both teams cruised in their semifinals, as FNU claimed an 88-76 win over Arkansas Baptist College and the College of the Ozarks bulldozed tournament host Haskell Indian Nations University 76-51. 

The first half saw the Bobcats command a 38-21 lead after outscoring FNU 29-13 in the first quarter. The Lady Cats shot 50% from the floor and behind the three-point line, while FNU shot a mere 33.3% in the frame. Adalis Arroyo led the way with six points on 2-2 shooting from long range and Jullie Ruiz Paneto was held to five points over 10 minutes of play. 

The second quarter was an extremely low-scoring affair where FNU came out on top, scoring nine points and allowing just eight from the Cats. Kyla Cruz Baez continued her strong tournament run with five points in a quarter with her team shooting an abysmal 18.8% before heading into halftime. 

FNU managed to pick up the scoring in the third but still trailed by double digits after the third thanks to five quick unanswered points form the Bobcats with a minute left in the quarter. FNU fell behind by as many as 19 in the period before cutting the lead to 11 off a layup from Janelisse Marty Marrero. But the Bobcats were disciplined and did not make costly errors, totaling just six turnovers in the second half compared to 10 in the first. The Lady Cats also crashed the boards, outrebounding FNU 58-26 through four periods and collecting 16 offensive rebounds.  

In the fourth, Kaylee Llanos put her team on her back, scoring eight points to lead all FNU scorers in the frame. Despite her heroics, FNU could not deny crucial baskets and get stops when they needed them most. The Bobcats ended the contest shooting 46.2% en route to being crowned CAC champions. 

Llanos had a team-high 12 points, while Ruiz Paneto and Adalis Arroyo combined for 22. 

Up Next: The Conquistadors await the NAIA’s selection show on March 7 where the final 64-team field and bracket will be announced.

Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) logo.