Panthers Fall To No. 6 Florida Southern, 109-96
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // January 18, 2015
Five Panthers scored in double figures
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – No. 6 Florida Southern (15-1, 4-1 SSC) won its fourth straight game Saturday night, dispatching Florida Tech (10-6, 0-5 SSC) 109-96 at the Jenkins Field House.
“When you go on the road and play the No. 6-ranked team in the country, you can’t allow them to force you to play their game,” head coach Billy Mims said. “Florida Southern likes to play a track meet style of basketball. We don’t have the fire power to get into a track meet with them.
The Panthers fought to the end despite trailing by double digits most of the second half to the Sunshine State Conference’s top-ranked offense.
Chris Carter poured in 17, Akeem Johnson totaled 11 and Caleb Wigginton came off the bench to chip in 10.
Five Panthers scored in double figures, including team leader Jordan Majors, who finished with 18. Corbin Jackson earned his second straight double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“We shot ourselves in the foot in three areas tonight. We missed too many free throws. We missed 12 in the first half and trailed by eight at halftime. The second thing that hurt us was offensive rebounding. We did a poor job of blocking out. Florida Southern had 25 offensive rebounds for 24 second chance points.
“Lastly, if you’re going to give up the quick transition scores, you need to keep them off the free throw line. They made free throws, they were 35-of-44 to our 28-of-45,” said Mims.
The Moccasins led 52-44 at the break behind 14 points from the SSC’s leading scorer Kevin Capers.
Seven seconds into the second half, Stephen Battle’s layup gave Florida Southern a 10-point lead. FIT cut its deficit to eight points following an offensive rebound and put back by Jackson.
However, the Moccasins went on a 9-0 run in 1:50 to push their lead to 17 with 16:35 left.
The Panthers made a run of their own to make it an eight-point game with 14:03 to play, however, that was as close as they would get the remainder of the game.
FIT outshot its opposition 45-percent to 40-percent. Both teams shot 33-percent from the arc, but the Moccasins hit 79-percent from the free throw line to the Panthers’ 62-percent. Fifty of FIT’s points came from the paint to Florida Southern’s 28.
“We’ve gone from 9-1 to losing six of our last seven games,” Mims said.
“The schedule for us has been like murderers’ row. This is the toughest schedule I’ve had in my 10 years at Florida Tech.
“I hope we learned a lot from this game and now they need to come to us. We still have three more games in round one starting with Rollins, who lost in overtime. At the end of the day, we have a tough, tough schedule in front of us. I still like our team, I still like our chances.”
Next up for the Panthers is Rollins on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Clemente Center.
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