FIU women’s basketball fumbles final road game of season to UTSA, 85-79

Junior forward Jordyn Jenkins for UTSA (right) and redshirt junior guard Mihaela Lazic for FIU (left). Photos courtesy of FIU and UTSA Athletics.

Brian Olmo | Sports Director

Despite four Panthers putting up double digit points, FIU women’s basketball was left in the dust by the UTSA Roadrunners 85-79 on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the UTSA Convocation Center.

The loss makes FIU’s overall record 12-15 and puts the team eighth in the conference.

Everything was under control by the Panthers in the first two periods. They built a comfortable nine point lead off solid starts from redshirt junior Mihaela Lazic and sophomore guard Tanajah Hayes.

At halftime, the score was 48-44 with FIU leading. The team was feeling energized with seven made threes.

But in all sports, it isn’t about how you start, but finish. The last two periods, particularly the third, were disasterous for the Panthers as their interior defense collapsed.

UTSA outscored FIU in the third 24-13, largely thanks to the Panther’s inability to buy a bucket. Their hot start from deep cooled as they went 1-6 and they weren’t having much luck inside the arc either, shooting 5-17 for 29.4% from the field.

The game ended with a series of free throws for UTSA to seal the deal, 85-79.

It was a historic night for UTSA, as junior forward Jordyn Jenkins broke the 32-year-old single-season scoring record with 587 points in the season.

Lazic found herself in the starting lineup for this one after she dropped 23 points against UTEP. She continued her excellent play, leading the team in scoring with five made threes for 18 points.

FIU made 12 3-pointers, tying their season high, while UTSA was stone cold from deep, going 5-20 or 25.0% from three. Yet it wasn’t enough for the Panthers to pull out a win. What happened?

Well, the Roadrunners had 18 points off turnovers to the Panthers’ six. They capitalized off FIU’s mistakes. UTSA also had 32 points in the paint. They may not have been able to do much from three, but they attack the basket better with their physical play.

The Panthers now return home to Ocean Bank Convocation Center to finish their season against the Lady Techsters on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

Most Valuable Players:

Jordyn Jenkins (UTSA) – 33 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals

Kyra White (UTSA) – 22 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists

Mihaela Lazic (FIU) – 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5-9 3PM

Follow Brian Olmo on Twitter at @Brian_Olmo11