Freshman Johanna Gustafsdottir, whose seeding time ranked her 12th going into the Sun Belt Swimming & Diving Championships, swam to an upset win in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 1:59.14, setting a new school, conference and Sun Belt Championships meet record. It was tied for the 33rd best in the NCAA this season.
Gustafsdottir churned to the third fastest time in the preliminaries, hinting she might have something for her finals competition. Sophomore Sonia Perez Arau finished fifth in 2:01.73, the second best time in FIU history.
FIU's fourth with 176 points. Denver's 275 points lead Western Kentucky (256) and North Texas (234).
Sophomore guard Jerica Coley got her usual numbers -- 21 points (but five of 18 from the field), seven rebounds, five assists, four steals, two blocks -- against Troy Thursday night, but it was senior Fanni Hutlassa who tore it up: 26 points on nine of 14 shooting and nine rebounds. FIU rolled as expected, 74-52.
The 19-9 Panthers a win against South Alabama Saturday from the 18th 20-win season in head coach Cindy Russo's 33 seasons.
It wasn't just that FIU kept putting freshman forward Gilles Dierickx and sophomore forward Dominque Ferguson on the floor Thursday against Troy. Bad as that was, what helped kill FIU was they kept trying to give Dierickx and Ferguson the ball. On this night, FIU's inside men could've been my cats -- handling the ball as if they lacked opposable thumbs or making passes that showed my feline's basketball sense. They combined for seven turnovers and only seven rebounds, a huge reason FIU lost 75-70 in overtime.
The best Jeremy in town Thursday night played at The Branch. In addition to a game-high 22 points against Troy, Allen deflected numerous passes, made six steals and one fast break block so perfect that the Troy bench didn't even make the reflexive howl for a foul as FIU headed back up court.
Just as Ashley McClain was for softball, senior outfielder Pablo Bermudez has been named a finalist for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award goes to a Division I player whose character, classroom, competition and community contributions match their high standard of play.
As the team heads for their three-game set with Florida State, No. 18 in the most recent Baseball America poll, they'll do so wtihout junior Rudy Flores and senior righthander Christian Malbrough. Both are suspended for the series for violation of team policy.
R.J. Fondon and Mason McVay will start the first two games, as they did last weekend at Rice. The third start this time will go to sophomore righty Michael Ellis.
The softball team, which ran off five consecutive wins last weekend in the Blue and Gold Felsberg Invitational -- two wins by mercy rule -- goes to the Boca Raton Invitational this weekend where they'll face Tulsa, Loyola-Marymount, Auburn and Florida A&M.
McClain's batting .448 with three doubles and a .724 slugging percentage. Kayla Burri's hitting .393 with a .500 slugging percentage.