The combination of redshirt freshman forward Kiandre’a Pound and junior guard Taylor Shade scoring with Pound and senior Marita Davydova rebounding put FIU’s women’s basketball team 9:50 from their first win Friday.
In that time, the scoring stopped, the rebounding stopped and the defense couldn’t stop anybody. The disintegration allowed Arizona (2-2) to beat FIU (0-4) 65-58 in the first game of the FIU Thanksgiving Classic.
“It was frustration, but I think it was encouragement,” Pound said of the team’s mood after the game. “I think, each game, we’re playing better and better. Arizona’s a Pac-12 school. So for us to be that close is good. We just need a little more.”
Pound finished the night with a game-high 25 points on nine of 18 shooting and had 13 rebounds, second in the game to Davydova’s 15. Shade scored 17 with three assists and two steals. Arizona’s fifth-year senior point guard Candice Warthen dropped in 18 points with seven assists.
A Dejza James layup off an intentional dish from Warthen and another off an unintentional dish (airball) erased FIU’s last lead and put Arizona ahead 50-47. FIU tied the game at 52 but the Wildcats countered with a 13-4 run over the last seven minutes.
“We don’t know how to hold,” FIU coach Cindy Russo said. “I think we just gave it back to them on a silver platter. They got offensive rebounds, we stopped rebounding. We didn’t stay together as a team. It didn’t look like wanted it as much at the end.”