Daniel Leads Panthers With 37, Hits Buzzer Beating 3-Point Shot In Win Over Embry-Riddle
By Mitch Praxl, Assistant Athletic Communications Director // January 5, 2017
Majors joins 1,000 point club, Panthers 28-28 from foul line and shoot 60.7 percent from floor
ABOVE VIDEO: Sam Daniel’s Buzzer Beater 3 lifts Florida Tech past Embry Riddle, 109-106, on Wednesday night at the Clemente Center.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA– Jordan Majors dashed down the court, dishing the ball off to Sam Daniel when the Embry-Riddle defense crashed on him.
Daniel received the pass and calmly raised up for a triple as the waning seconds of the game counted off, drilling a buzzer-beating jumper to lift Florida Tech to a 109-106 win Wednesday night at the Clemente Center.
“Coach Mims just wanted to get the best look that we could,” said Daniel, who appeared earlier this afternoon on Space Coast Daily TV as a guest on the Billy Mims Show from Old School Pizza.
“Jordan getting to the line and going to the basket pretty much led to that last shot. They had to double down on him, otherwise he was going to score that bucket.”
“The way that he played freed me up for the last shot and once it got to my hands I had all the confidence in the world to make it.”
The 6-7 junior finished with a season-high 37-points on 9-of-16 shooting, including a 6-of-10 effort from behind the three-point line. Daniel also corralled 11 rebounds to earn his fifth double-double of the season.
Majors didn’t let the Kingsland, Georgia native have all of the fun, making 11-of-19 attempts, 4-of-7 from three, to post 31 points, in addition to seven assists. The point total moved the junior guard into exclusive company, joining the 1,000-point club for his career.
Patrick Anderson and Robert Booth each registered 12 points, while Anderson also dished out 12 dimes, 10 in the first half.
The Eagles used an even attack to keep up with FIT’s frantic pace, having six players finish the game in double-figures. Skyler Hogan led the team with 29 points, while Dalton Barnes recorded 22 points and 10 assists.
The Panthers likely wouldn’t have been in a position to win the game at the horn if not for a lights out shooting night from the charity stripe.
Florida Tech made all 28 of its free throws, a Panther record and just three off of the Division II record for foul shots made in a 100 percent performance.
The two sides exchanged body blows all night long, though the Eagles held the advantage for much of the first half, growing the lead to as much as 12 at the 8:47 mark. From there, though, FIT erupted for a 22-6 run to grab a four point lead with four minutes to go in the opening stanza.
The Panthers held onto that lead going into the half but a Hogan three ball in the final seconds gave ERAU some momentum heading into the break facing just a one-point deficit at 57-56.
The contest stayed tight through the beginning of the second half but as the second period waged on FIT began to open things up a bit, grabbing an eight point lead off of a Booth dunk at the midway point.
That lead grew to nine a few minutes later when Daniel converted three straight free throws but the Eagles responded with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to a single point.
The two teams went back-and-forth over the final four minutes of action and things looked to be headed in the wrong direction for FIT when Hogan snagged a rebound off a Majors missed layup with just over a minute to go.
However, FIT played the numbers game with .490 foul shooter Luka Majstorovic, who missed both opportunities from the line.
Daniel didn’t repeat the mistake on the other side of the court, knocking down both free throws after being fouled with 34 ticks left on the clock.
The Panthers then smothered ERAU during its next possession, forcing a shot clock violation and setting up the thrilling final play that sent the Clemente Center into a frenzy.
“You couldn’t go to the Amway Center for any NBA game this season and see a more entertaining basketball game than what Embry-Riddle and Florida Tech put on here tonight,” said head coach Billy Mims.
The Panthers will get a rare Saturday off this week and will use the extra time to prepare for a faceoff with SSC rival Florida Southern, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday at Jenkins Field House in Lakeland, Florida.
Links to live coverage will be available at FloridaTechSports.com.
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