FSCJ's women's basketball program opened up their season on the road at the Indian River Tip-Off Classic in Fort Pierce, Florida Friday evening.
The BlueWave were anxious and ready from the tip to battle for the first win of the season. They jumped on an early lead in the first quarter behind the teams balanced scoring to find themselves comfortably ahead of the tournament host Indian River State College (IRSC) Pioneers 18-7. Continuing their momentum from the first quarter, the BlueWave played with increased intensity and aggressiveness. Freshman Mariah Lane would step up to help lead them again to another 18-7 second quarter win over IRSC, notching a 36-14 halftime score before teams headed into the locker room.
The Pioneers not ready to go down without a fight shook off their first half jitters and came back to challenge the FSCJ BlueWave with a barrage of three-point shots from IRSC guard, Kiara Cadore who finished the third quarter with 17 points after only scoring 2 in the first half. The BlueWave unable to answer back found themselves outscored 13-23 in the third. The IRSC halftime deficit kept the Pioneers at bay as the teams headed to their benches before the start of the fourth quarter with an overall score of 49-37.
With FSCJ finding a bit of their offensive rhythm again, the BlueWave then ran into foul trouble down the stretch sending the Pioneers to the free-throw line a total of fourteen times within the fourth quarter. Having to adjust with a bigger line up due to their shortage in guard play, the BlueWave began to dominate in the paint with some high-low action. However, IRSC's Cadore continued to hit from behind the arc giving the Pioneers the fourth quarter spread of 17-22. FSCJ's BlueWave played consistent and steady throughout leading them to their first win of the 2018-2019 season by a score of 66-59 over Indian River State College.
Sophomore forward Mariah Preston finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and Freshman forward Mariah Lane, finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds. Freshman guard Gift Sampson was effective running the point to give help at the point guard position as point guard Kayla Mansell was out due to a hand injury. Gift finished with eight points and six rebounds.