FNU opens Cruzin Classic with 57-54 win over Aquinas

FNU women's basketball final graphic (12-16-22)
FNU women’s basketball final graphic (12-16-22)

(Box Score)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. ( Dec. 16, 2022) Under the Friday night lights of the Cruzin Classic at St. Thomas University, Florida National Univerity’s women’s basketball team picked up a much-needed win against Aquinas College (5-7). The victory marks FNU’s (4-5) second win in its last four games and the Conquistadors’ first win at the Fernandez Family Center this season.

The first half saw an offensive takeover by the Conquistadors, controlling an 8-3 lead early in the contest and going on to end the half up 32-22. Kaylee Llanos and Natalie Larranaga put up a critical nine points apiece through two periods.

The Conquistadors shot an impressive 57.1% (8-14) from the field in the second quarter despite going 1-5 (20%) from behind the arch. Despite a solid performance, AC was right behind FNU only getting outscored 17-14 in the second.

The Saints were consistent throughout the match keeping right around 10 points between them and FNU. Tyra Kirlew followed up four points in the opening quarter with a couple of buckets in the third period. Llanos had five points in the third but this was not enough to stop AC from outscoring FNU 17-15 with one final frame to play.

In the final 10 minutes of play, FNU shot six three pointers and failed to connect on any of those attempts. The Saints mounted a late-game comeback following a clutch layup from Paige Guernsey. With the game tied at 53-53, it was anyone ball game for the taking.

FNU’s Natalie Llanos had a solid game up until that point with 12 points over the first three frames. The Guatemala City, Guatemala, native went to work to put this game away for the Conquistadors with a smooth layup and a clutch jumper to ice the Saints.

FNU had three players in double digits with Larranaga, Llanos and Kirlew credited with 16, 14 and 12 points respectively. Larranaga also ended the night with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. 

Up Next: FNU women’s basketball will take on the College of Saint Mary tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. to close out their time at the Cruzin Classic.

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