From VUSports.com WBB Forum -
It was not pretty, but Nova managed to come away with a win in the Florida International University Thanksgiving Tournament Chanpionship game today, holding off the host team.
Cold outside shooting by the Wildcats in the first half allowed FIU to hang around and finally take a three point lead about half way through and maintaining it through the half and five minutes into the second half. Nova was only 2 of 14 on threes in the first half, with Lauren Burford canning 2 of 3 shots. We did manage to score enough on the inside to keep the game within reach, trailing by only 25-22 at the break.
Still trailing by 31-28 at the 15 minute mark of the second half, Devon Kane hit a three ball, followed by a driving layup by Caroline Coyer to give us a three point lead. Shortly following were another Coyer layup, sandwiched around three balls by Megan Quinn and Burford to push out to a 42-35 lead. The lead swelled to 49-38 as Nova completed a 21-7 run, with a Kane drive, another Burford three punctuated by an immediate steal and layup by Coyer.
FIU got a time out to regroup, but Kane then sank three straight free throws after getting fouled on a corner three attempt and the lead was up to 14 with a 52-38 lead. FIU then scored 10 points in the next two minutes, but mostly offset by nice inside looks for short shots or layups to Kane and Burford (twice). A conventional three point play got FIU back inside of 10 points and from then on it was a foul shooting contest for Nova that had its hairy moments. Kane missed the front end of two one and ones and then the first of two foul shots, and FIU crept within five and then to within 62-58 with 35 seconds left before Coyer hit both of her free throws to essentially put the game out of reach. Nova scored their last nine points from the line.
Burford was the savior today, shooting 7-9 with 5 of the 7 Nova three balls, finishing with 19 points, six boards and 3 assists. Kane finished with 17 points and 10 assists with no turnovers. Coyer had 11 points and three assists with no turnovers. Both played over 36 minutes in this one. The team only had 6 turnovers for the game, with 5 blocks and 5 steals. Overall shooting was 24-54 for 44.4%, three point shooting was 7-28 (28%) with almost all of that coming from Burford's 5-7 shooting. Kane made the only three by a guard. The other three ball came from Samatha Wilkes. Rebounds were in favor if FIU by 39-35.
Jordan Dillard got a start in her home state, but did not attempt a shot in her five minutes on the court. Kane was selected as the tournament MVP with Burford joining her on the all-tournament team. The team is now off until the St. Joes game next Saturday at the Pavilion. The Hawks might be the best team we have faced to date and a better effort will be required to be successful in that one as we look to defend our two-year hold on the Big Five title.