Ruiz Paneto leads FNU to CAC semifinal

Ruiz Paneto leads FNU to CAC semifinal graphic.
Ruiz Paneto leads FNU to CAC semifinal. (March 1, 2024)

(Box Score)

LAWRENCE, KS. (March 1, 2024) – Florida National University’s women’s basketball team (14-10) used an impressive second quarter of offense to rout the Voorhees University Tigers (7-20) in the 2024 Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) Women’s Basketball Championship tournament quarterfinal round. FNU improves to 8-1 in CAC play this season and extends its current win streak to 10 consecutive victories both on the road and at home. 

Voorhees put up a great fight early, leading 19-18 after the first quarter. Cambria Parker led the way for the Tigers with nine points while FNU’s Kyla Cruz Baez stepped up in a big way with nine points of her own. Jullie Ruiz Paneto followed closely behind with four points, as FNU regrouped in the second quarter to take a massive 48-35 lead at halftime. 

The Tigers were held to just 16 points in the second quarter as Kaylee Llanos put the team on her back with 15 points off the bench on 3-5 shooting from three. Ruiz Paneto came alive for nine in the frame and FNU shot 50% from the field. The Tigers were able to regroup in the third, outscoring FNU 24-20 thanks to 12 points from Alyssa Herder. FNU kept the advantage, however, thanks in part to another stellar quarter from Ruiz Paneto and Llanos, who combined for 13.

Voorhees ended the third trailing by nine, but FNU finished the fourth strong, posting 22 points. Nine of those came from Janelisse Marty Marrero and the Tigers had no answer for FNU’s offensive weapons. Center Tyra Kirlew dropped four in the frame from close range as FNU ended the game shooting 50%. 

Ruiz Paneto ended her night with a game-high 28 points, while Llanos recorded 20 off the bench. Cruz Baez and Marty Marrero were spectacular, combining for 25. Senior Louise Pilley grabbed nine rebounds. 

Up Next: FNU takes on Arkansas Baptist in the CAC semifinal round tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) logo.