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September 17, 2013

FIU Sports Headlines

2013-2014 FIU Men's Basketball Schedule Announced

Thirty-one teams from 12 different conferences make up this year's FIU men's basketball schedule, as announced by Head Coach Anthony Evans on Monday. The 2013-14 slate features 11 teams which saw postseason tournament action last season, including defending NCAA National Champion Louisville and "Sweet Sixteen" participant Florida Gulf Coast.

"This year's schedule will be a good test for our team," Evans said. "With it being our first year in Conference USA and the quality non-conference opponents we will be facing, I expect this to be a challenging yet exciting season. The year will be fun and entertaining for not only our team, but our fans as well."

The Panthers will tip off the season at the Kennesaw State Tournament (Nov. 8-12) in Kennesaw, Ga. The four-team tournament will be followed by FIU's home opener versus Florida College (Nov. 14). The game will be the first of 15 home contests on Lime Court at U.S. Century Bank Arena during the 2013-2014 season, including a Dec. 7 meeting with Florida Gulf Coast and a Dec. 21 outing with Louisville. The back-to-back games versus NCAA Tournament teams will close out the Panthers' home schedule for the 2013 calendar year. Louisville's visit to Miami will mark the first time a defending national champion has played FIU on its home court.

Other key contests include road games at South Carolina (Nov. 24) and Georgetown (Dec. 28). The Panthers will be facing the Gamecocks, who are coached by FIU alum Frank Martin, for the second time in the program's history (Feb. 16, 1985). FIU has faced the Hoyas three times, including a contest in Miami on Dec. 30, 1987.

Entering the inaugural season in Conference USA, the Panthers will play their first league game on Jan. 9 with a trip to Houston, Texas, to take on Rice. The first C-USA home game for FIU will take place on Jan. 16 as Old Dominion comes to town.

The Panthers will wrap up their season with Senior Day on March 2 versus Tulane, followed by a March 6 contest at intra-state rival Florida Atlantic.

Men's basketball season tickets can be purchased by calling the FIU Ticket Office at 305-FIU-GAME or conveniently online at FIUSports.com

Below is the complete 2013-2014 FIU men's basketball schedule.

2013-14 Men's Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent Site TV Time (ET)

November

8 (Fri.) vs. Eastern Kentucky^ Kennesaw, Ga. 5:00 p.m.

9 (Sat.) vs. Youngstown State^ Kennesaw, Ga. 3:00 p.m.

10 (Sun.) at Kennesaw State^ Kennesaw, Ga. 3:30 p.m.

12 (Tues.) vs. Warren Wilson^ Kennesaw, Ga. 12:00 p.m.

14 (Thurs.) FLORIDA COLLEGE Miami, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

16 (Sat.) TEXAS SOUTHERN Miami, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

18 (Mon.) STETSON Miami, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

21 (Thurs.) at Bethune-Cookman Daytona Beach, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

24 (Sun.) at South Carolina Columbia, S.C. TBA

30 (Sat.) GEORGIA STATE Miami, Fla. 5:00 p.m.

December

3 (Tues.) NOVA SOUTHEASTERN Miami, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

7 (Sat.) FLORIDA GULF COAST Miami, Fla. 5:00 p.m.

21 (Sat.) LOUISVILLE Miami, Fla. 5:00 p.m.

28 (Sat.) at Georgetown Washington, D.C. Fox Sports 1 1:00 p.m.

January

2 (Thurs.) at Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

9 (Thurs.) at Rice* Houston, Texas TBA

11 (Sat.) at Louisiana Tech* Ruston, La. TBA

16 (Thurs.) OLD DOMINION* Miami, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

18 (Sat.) EAST CAROLINA* Miami, Fla. 5:00 p.m.

25 (Sat.) FLORIDA ATLANTIC* Miami, Fla. 5:00 p.m.

30 (Thurs.) at Marshall* Huntington, W.Va. TBA
February

1 (Sat.) at Charlotte* Charlotte, N.C. TBA

6 (Thurs.) UAB* Miami, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

8 (Sat.) MIDDLE TENNESSEE* Miami, Fla. 2:00 p.m.

13 (Thurs.) at UTSA* San Antonio, Texas 8:00 p.m.

15 (Sat.) at UTEP* El Paso, Texas 9:05 p.m.

20 (Thurs.) NORTH TEXAS* Miami, Fla. 7:00 p.m.

22 (Sat.) TULSA* Miami, Fla. 2:00 p.m.

27 (Thurs.) at Southern Miss* Hattiesburg, Miss. TBA

March

2 (Sun.) TULANE* Miami, Fla. 2:00 p.m.

6 (Thurs.) at Florida Atlantic* Boca Raton, Fla. TBA

All home games played on Lime Court at U.S. Century Bank Arena on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus

*-Conference USA game

^-Kennesaw State Tournament - Kennesaw, Ga.

Game times subject to change


Russo Announces 2013-14 Women's Basketball Slate

FIU Head Coach Cindy Russo announced the 2013-14 women's basketball schedule on Tuesday, as the Panthers are set to face four NCAA Tournament teams and eight Postseason WNIT squads from a season ago.

"It's an exciting time for the program as we not only enter our first season in Conference USA, but also are scheduled for a lot of tough non-conference games," Russo said. "I think this is one of the most difficult schedules we've ever had. I'm looking forward to the challenge, and I know the players and staff are excited to take on such a high caliber of competition."

FIU will host 15 contests on Lime Court at U.S. Century Bank Arena, including a pair of exhibition games and eight Conference USA matchups.

The Panthers open the regular season at home versus Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, Nov. 8, as FIU looks for its first-ever win over the in-state rival. The Eagles, who earned a trip to the Postseason WNIT last year, are coming off their third-straight Atlantic Sun regular season title in 2012-13.

FIU will hit the road for three-straight contests in mid-November, traveling to Orlando, Fla., to face UCF (Nov. 15) before embarking on a two-game trip to Boston with games at 2013 Postseason WNIT participant Harvard (Nov. 19) and Boston College (Nov. 21).

The Panthers return home on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 to host the 19th-annual FIU Thanksgiving Classic, a tournament which features Valparaiso, Montana State and 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Villanova. FIU will host another holiday tournament on Dec 28-20 when Fairleigh Dickinson, Wake Forest and Florida A&M come to Miami for the 29th-annual FIU Sun & Fun Classic.

FIU's non-conference slate also includes a home contest against 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Prairie View A&M (Dec. 6), an away matchup at Tennessee Tech (Dec. 16), and a pair of games at the Gator Holiday Classic. In the event, FIU will face LaSalle (Dec. 20) and Tennessee State or host Florida (Dec. 21), as the Panthers look toward an opportunity to avenge a season-ending loss to the Gators in the Postseason WNIT a season ago. FIU will close out its out-of-conference schedule at home on Jan. 5 versus Palm Beach Atlantic.

On Jan. 8, FIU kicks of its inaugural C-USA season, welcoming Rice to U.S. Century Bank Arena. Other home contests against league opponents include East Carolina (Jan. 11), North Texas (Jan. 22), Florida Atlantic (Feb. 1), Middle Tennessee (Feb. 12), Southern Miss (Feb. 19), Marshall (Feb. 22), and Old Dominion (March 1).

ECU and ODU both reached the Postseason WNIT a year ago, while MT earned the Sun Belt Conference automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The home finale against the Lady Monarchs will serve as Senior Day for the Panthers, and will also pit Russo and Associate Head Coach Inge Nissen against their alma mater. Nissen, who was recruited to ODU by then-assistant coach Russo, had a stellar career with the Lady Monarchs and was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2012.

FIU's C-USA road slate takes the Panthers to FAU (Jan. 25), Tulsa (Jan. 18), UAB (Jan. 25), UTSA (Feb. 5), UTEP (Feb. 8), Tulane (Feb. 15), Charlotte (Feb. 26), and Louisiana Tech (March 5). UAB, Tulane and Charlotte earned spots in last year's Postseason WNIT, while reigning C-USA Tournament Champion Tulsa participated in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

The 2014 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship is set for March 11-15 in El Paso, Texas.


Sukhareva & Smith Named to FIU Invitational All-Tournament Squad

After leading the Panthers to a 2-1 weekend, senior Kimberly Smith and redshirt junior Ksenia Sukhareva were named to the FIU Invitational All-Tournament Team on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Century Bank Arena. The honor marks the third-consecutive of its kind for Sukhareva, while Smith's all-tournament nod marks her second-straight such accolade.

Smith registered a team-high 42 kills (3.82 kps) for the weekend, committing just six errors in 80 total attempts for an attack percentage of .450. The middle blocker reached the double-digit kill plateau in all three contests, posting 15 kills versus Jacksonville, 12 kills against Chattanooga, and 15 kills versus South Dakota State. In the Panthers' tournament finale against the Jackrabbits, Smith made just two errors in 26 total attempts, good for a season-high attack percentage of .500.

A native of Zionsville, Ind., Smith also led the Panther blocking corps for the tournament, notching 15 blocks (1.36 bps), including four solo stops, three of which came against SDSU to tie a career best. Smith currently owns a squad-high 32 blocks on the season, averaging 1.07 blocks per set.

Sukhareva added 37 kills (3.36 kps) across FIU's three matches to put her season total at a team-leading 117 kills (3.55 kps). The outside hitter began the tournament with a career-high-tying 20 kills versus JU before posting 10 kills against UTC and seven kills versus SDSU. Sukhareva also achieved double-digit kills against the Dolphins and the Mocs, putting her season and career double-double tally at three, as her 15 digs in the Panthers' tournament opener versus JU marked a career best.

A native of Moscow, Russia, Sukhareva chipped in with 38 digs (3.45 dps), three service aces, and three blocks for the weekend.

Joining Sukhareva and Smith on the FIU Invitational All-Tournament Team are: Samantha Strausbaugh - Jacksonville (MVP); Gabriela Roman - Jacksonville; Melissa Green - Chattanooga; and Kacey Hermann- South Dakota State.

FIU (5-4) returns to action next weekend, when the Panthers travel to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Active Ankle Challenge, hosted by Purdue. On Friday, Sept. 20, FIU faces Northern Kentucky (4 p.m. ET) before going up against Syracuse (10 a.m. ET) and the host Boilermakers (7:30 p.m. ET) on Saturday, Sept. 21.





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