Alison Smalling/ERAU Athletics
The Embry-Riddle women’s basketball team (13-7, 5-5) led Florida Memorial at halftime, but the Eagles were unable to hold on to that advantage, falling 83-68 to the Lions in Sun Conference action, Saturday at Barry University’s Health and Sports Center. The Eagles were the slightly better team from the field, shooting 42.9 percent (27-63) compared to just 40 percent (24-60) by FMU, but the Lions did the majority of their damage from the charity stripe where they were 27-of-34 compared to just 9-of-15 by the Eagles.
Taylor Cyphers was 6-of-9 from the field, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the Blue and Gold. Ashley McWilliams and Sabrina Whiting added 11 points apiece, while Kalah Martin contributed 10 points and seven assists.
The Eagles got off to a promising start, outscoring the Lions 9-2 in the first four minutes. That advantage grew to 10 points (24-14) with 8:22 remaining as ERAU connected on 15 of its 32 field goal attempts and knocked down 6-of-8 free throws to take 38-31 lead at the intermission.
Coming out of the break, Diamond Colebrooke began to take over for the Lions. Colebrooke recorded a steal, a layup and a three-pointer within the first 90 seconds of the second frame, and her efforts helped closed the gap to just four points (40-36).
At the 17:22 mark, an Allison Abbott jumper gave the Eagles a 44-36 advantage, but over the next two minutes, Florida Memorial made a living at the charity stripe as two free throws apiece by Colebrooke, Natalia Mejia and Abreona Cabella tied the score at 44-44 with 15:16 left to play.
Missed shots and turnovers led to a scoreless stretch over the next four and a half minutes. Cabell finally broke the deadlock with a layup that gave the Lions their first lead of the night and that score sparked a 19-6 run that put Florida Memorial ahead 65-52 with 5:41 left on the clock.
The Eagles got a pair of three-pointers from Whiting in the closing seconds of the game, but it was not enough to catch the Lions who made 14 of their 18 free throw attempts in the last 3:49 to come away with the win.
Colebrooke lead all scorers with 24 points as Florida Memorial improved its record to 8-13 overall and 5-5 in Sun Conference play.
The Eagles close out their two-game road swing on Wednesday when they travel to Ave Maria for a rematch with the Lady Gyrenes. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.