Florida International Edges Old Dominion, 80-76

December 21, 2005
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 21, 2005

Box Score

Miami, Fla. - Junior Lasma Jekabsone (Riga, Latvia) recorded her 10th career double-double and fourth of the season with a career-high 28 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Florida International University women's basketball team to an 80-76 win over Old Dominion at Pharmed Arena on Wednesday afternoon.

The victory snaps a four-game skid for the Golden Panthers, as they improve to 5-4 with their first win in December. The Lady Monarchs, who are playing the nation's toughest schedule according to Collegiate Basketball News' first RPI report, fall to 2-5.

FIU returned to its early-season form, shooting a season-best 51.8 percent from the field and recording its second-best percentages from long range (44.4 percent) and from the line (72.0 percent), after struggling throughout the month. The 80 points marked the highest offensive output for the Golden Panthers this season, as they out-rebounded their opponent for the ninth straight time, 44-36.

Old Dominion shot 41.7 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from beyond the arc, connecting on 7-of-12 attempts -- including six from sophomore TJ Jordan to tie her season high, but managed to hit just 40.9 percent from the charity stripe. The Lady Monarchs came in shooting 72.7 percent from the line but made just 9-of-22 attempts on the afternoon.

FIU sophomore LaQuetta Ferguson (Hollywood, Fla./South Broward) added a season-high 15 points, including a team-best two three-pointers, while freshman Iva Ciglar (Velika Gorica, Croatia) came off the bench to contribute double-figure points for her second-straight game, finishing with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and three assists. Senior Faeza Bouderra (Mulhouse, France) recorded nine points, a game-high seven assists, five boards and a game-high four steals in the win.

ODU had four players finish in double figures, led by Jordan with 20 points and five rebounds, while sophomore Shahida Williams came off the bench to add a career-high 18 points, six boards and a pair of steals. Senior Lawona Davis and junior Tish Lyons finished with 10 points apiece.

The Golden Panthers used a six-point run to jump out to the early 8-6 advantage, and then outscored the Lady Monarchs 15-3 over a four-minute span to take their largest lead, up 10 at 23-13. Old Dominion used a Jordan trey and a pair of Williams baskets to cut the FIU lead to three, 29-26, with 6:46 remaining in the half. The teams then engaged in a battle from beyond the arc, trading threes -- with two from Jordan, a pair from Ferguson and one from Jekabsone -- with FIU coming out ahead and taking the 46-40 lead into intermission.

Jordan came out strong in the second half and used her fifth three-pointer of the game to help the Lady Monarchs to their first lead since the opening minutes, up 56-54 with 15:25 to go. The Golden Panthers responded with an eight-point run from Ferguson and Jekabsone to reclaim the lead, 62-56, with 12:22 remaining. The lead would change five more times with FIU using four-straight free throws to go ahead for good with 4:01 left in the game.

The Golden Panthers improve to 3-1 versus the Lady Monarchs, who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the last 14 straight seasons. FIU head coach Cindy Russo and associate head coach Inge Nissen both played collegiate basketball for ODU.