Late Comeback Lifts Panthers to Inspirational Win
By Florida Tech // January 17, 2013
FIT Scores Winning Basket With 27 Seconds Left
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Coming off a tough loss late in the game to Eckerd on Saturday, Florida Tech staged a 16-point comeback and scored the go-ahead basket with 27 seconds left in a 62-60 victory over Lynn Wednesday night at the Clemente Center.
The Panthers are now 7-6 overall and 1-3 in Sunshine State Conference play, while the Fighting Knights drop to 9-5, 2-3 SSC.
Trailing by eight points with 5:22 to play, the Panthers tightened up on the defensive end of the floor. They shut down the Fighting Knights’ offense the rest of the way by forcing four turnovers and surrendering just one offensive rebound, which came with six seconds to play.
Jermaine Jackson connected on back-to-back field goals with his last being a three-pointer to cut Lynn’s lead to two at the 3:17 mark. Julius Reid then tied the game for the fourth time, and the Fighting Knights’ head coach Scott McMillin immediately called a 30-second timeout.
With Lynn’s Jeremy Lampkin penetrating to the basket, Terrance Tubbs took an offensive foul with 1:03 to play. FIT head coach Billy Mims then drew up a play and it resulted in Reid hitting the go-ahead bucket with 27 seconds remaining.
Pavle Raickovic had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but the Panther defense caused him to miss the jump shot in the lane and Reid corralled the rebound.
“We trailed by 16 points in the first half and could have quit,” Mims said. “In one of the last timeouts, we stressed slowing the game down, defending on every possession, getting stops, executing and getting it under 10. In the locker room, we said Lynn could not outwork us in the second half. We need to get all the loose balls, win the 50-50 rebounds and make plays on the defensive end of the floor. We did just that in the second half.”
Reid led all scorers with 18 points. The nation’s steals per game leader had four steals and is now averaging 4.6 a game. Chris Carter finished with 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. David Usic provided great defense throughout his 36 minutes on the floor. He ended with four points, seven rebounds, a block and two steals.
Tubbs came off the bench and provided seven points, five rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists in 22 minutes.
“Tubbs is just a player,” Mims said. “He knows how to play basketball. He’s still learning our system, so he’s not quite sure of what we’re doing yet. He makes big plays, big decisions. He had a couple turnovers, but he tried to create some scoring opportunities for us late in the basketball game.”
The Panthers will travel to Saint Leo on Saturday for a 4 p.m. contest against the SSC’s preseason favorite.