Florida Tech Falls Short In Overtime To Eckerd, Both Teams Combine For 200 Total Points

By  //  December 3, 2015

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In the Sunshine State Conference, more times than not, a handful of crucial plays ultimately decide a ball game. On Wednesday night, Florida Tech unfortunately didn’t make enough of those plays, as the Panthers suffered a crushing 104-100 overtime defeat at Eckerd. (Image by Matt Starkey)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA  – In the Sunshine State Conference, more times than not, a handful of crucial plays ultimately decide a ball game. On Wednesday night, Florida Tech unfortunately didn’t make enough of those plays, as the Panthers suffered a crushing 104-100 overtime defeat at Eckerd.

Six Panthers scored in double-figures in the effort, led by Jermohn Queen’s game-high 21 points off the bench, but Eckerd’s 59.4 percent shooting and whopping 36 free throw attempts were too much for Florida Tech to overcome.

Billy Mims

Billy Mims

“We come here every year and find ways to beat ourselves,” said head coach Billy Mims.

“We made a bunch of poor decisions and never got enough stops defensively to win the game. Shot selection, turnovers and a lack of defensive presence really hurt us tonight.”

Hot shooting, particularly from Sam Daniel, who drained his first four attempts from deep, allowed Florida Tech to jump out to an early 17-13 edge.

Queen later hit Isaac Spence on a backdoor cut for the hoop and the harm to extend the Panthers’ lead to their largest of the game at 22-14 midway through the first half.

The offense would eventually slow down, though, as Eckerd chipped away and eventually regained the lead on a pair of free throws from Ray Darnell.

Jermohn Queen

Jermohn Queen

An apparent injury sidelined Queen in the opening period, but later returned and converted back-to-back buckets to help the Panthers stay within one at the half.

Eckerd opened up a 54-47 cushion out of the break, but an 11-2 run, keyed by two Randy Echols triples, put the Panthers back in front 58-56 with 15:02 remaining.

The Tritons’ Drushuan McLaurn came up big in the second half, accounting for 11 of his team-high 20 points, and drained consecutive shots to give Eckerd an 83-77 lead with 2:32 left in regulation.

However, the Panthers stormed back thanks to a trey from the corner by Spence and a lay-in by Queen to tie the score at 87-87 with only 27.7 seconds to go.

Eckerd would have one final chance to win the ball game in regulation, but a Jerrick Stevenson three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark, forcing overtime.

In the overtime period, the score stayed knotted up until 1:02 to play when the Tritons’ Kevin Walsh cashed in on a back-breaking four-point play in front of the Eckerd bench.

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Out of the ensuing timeout, Echols drained his fifth three of the contest to close the gap back to one. Florida Tech just couldn’t get the job done on defense, and in the end fell to the Tritons for the third time in as many chances.

Overall, Florida Tech hit 14-of-30 attempts from beyond the arc, topping the century mark for the first time since a 103-81 victory over Lynn on Dec. 7, 2013.

“There’s no moral victories in the Sunshine State Conference,” Mims said despite the offensive performance.

“We weren’t tough enough or smart enough to get the win.”

Florida Tech has no time to dwell, though, as it continues its SSC slate on the road at defending national champion Florida Southern Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Live coverage will be available, courtesy of the Mocs, at FloridaTechSports.com.


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