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March 10, 2013

Men's and Women's Basketball Advance

The FIU women's basketball team defeated Arkansas State, 57-50, on Saturday afternoon, advancing to the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Championship semifinals for the third-consecutive season.

With the victory, the Panthers improve to 19-11 while the Red Wolves fall to 15-15. Fifth-seeded FIU will face SBC regular season champion and top-seeded Middle Tennessee on Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m. ET. The semifinal matchup will be televised on the Sun Belt Network, and fans can stream online for free via the Sun Belt Digital Network at SunBeltSports.org.

FIU led by as many as 12 points in the first half, as the Panthers went into the locker room with a 27-18 halftime advantage. For the period, FIU shot 34.3 percent (12-of-25) while holding ASU to 13.6 percent (3-of-22) shooting from the floor. The Panthers out-scored the Red Wolves, 18-4, in the paint, and out-rebounded ASU, 27-18.

The Red Wolves opened the second half on a 22-9 run to knot the score at 36-36 at the 11:40 mark, and again tied the score at 40-40 with 8:38 left to play. FIU would then out-score ASU 17-10 over the remainder of the contest to go on for the 57-50 victory.

Junior Jerica Coley led FIU with a game-high 25 points, while senior Finda Mansare also scored in double-figures, netting 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Coley has scored in double-figures in 28-consecutive games and the 20-point performance marks her 21st such outing of the campaign.

Leading FIU on the boards for the 21st time this season was junior Marita Davydova with 13 rebounds, as the Panthers out-rebounded the Red Wolves, 50-40, for the contest.

Senior Carmen Miloglav registered a career-high-tying and team-best four steals on the day, also notching a team-high-tying two assists, along with Coley and Mansare. Senior Diamond Ashmore, Davydova and Mansare each recorded one block for the Panthers.

As a team, FIU shot 36.7 percent (22-of-60) from the floor, while holding ASU to 24.1 percent (14-of-58) shooting for the game.

Junior Malik Smith scored a game-high 25 points, shooting 8-of-10 from 3-point range, and sophomore Deric Hill posted seven assists and six steals to lead the FIU men's basketball team (17-13) to a 69-54 win over the UALR Trojans (17-15) on Saturday evening. The victory earns the Panthers a berth in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Semifinals.

Smith's eight treys were a career high for the Boston, Mass., native, who has scored in double-figures in three-straight games. The 6-foot-2 guard was one 3-pointer shy of tying the SBC Tournament record for the most 3-pointers in a single game (9 by John Know - JU vs. ASU - 1997).

Hill set the tone for the FIU defense which totaled 13 steals in the contest and forced 21 UALR turnovers, resulting in 29 points for the Panthers. The Miami native has totaled 70 steals on the year, which are the most at FIU for steals by a sophomore, and rank No. 3 all-time in program history for steals in a single season. Hill also led the Panthers with a career-high-tying eight boards to go along with his 12 points.

Junior Tymell Murphy scored in double-figures for the 21st-straight time, posting 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor.

For the game, FIU shot 46.9 percent from the floor (23-of-49) and 42.3 percent from beyond the arc (11-of-26). The Panthers, which did not got to the free-throw line in the first half, converted 12-of-19 from the charity stripe (63.2 percent) for the contest.

FIU held UALR to 30.6 percent shooting from the field (15-of-49) and 16.7 percent shooting from 3-point land (3-of-18). The Trojans scored 21 of their 54 points from the free-throw line, shooting 70.0 percent.

FIU's only deficit came early in the game with 19:16 left in the first half, 3-0. However, a trey by freshman Jerome Frink with 18:59 on the clock followed by a layup by Hill, gave FIU a lead that it would never relinquish. Leading by as many as 20 points, the Panthers would go on for the 15-point victory.

The Panthers held a 22-14 edge in points in the paint despite UALR holding a slight 36-34 edge in rebounding.

The win improved FIU's record versus UALR in the SBC Tournament to 2-0 and 10-17 all-time. With the victory, the Panthers advance to the SBC Semifinals for the third time in program history.

The Panthers will take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the SBC semifinals on Sunday, March 10. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET from Summit Arena and will be broadcast on the Sun Belt Network. Fans can also watch the contest via web streaming on ESPN3 as well as SunBeltSports.org.

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