Florida Tech Panthers Fall in Home Opener to Lindenwood, Remain Winless to Start the Season
By Daniel Supraner, Florida Tech Sports // November 19, 2017
Sam Daniel Scores Season High 33-Points
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA— The Florida Tech men’s basketball team was defeated, 76-66, by Lindenwood in the Panthers’ home opener Saturday afternoon at the Clemente Center.
FIT falls to 0-4 on the season, while Lindenwood improves its record to 3-1. Injuries to key players continue to play a role in the Florida Tech’s struggles in the early part of the season.
As a result, four Panthers played at least 34 minutes and fatigue settled in later in the contest.
Sam Daniel had another impressive game for the Panthers and finished with half of his team’s points. The senior recorded his second double-double in the first four games on a season-high 33 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Jordan Majors was the only other Panther in double-figures, scoring 19 points on 7-of-14 from the field and 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Richard Coil hauled in 10 rebounds and Valur Valsson dished out a game-high eight assist to go along with four points.
As a team, Florida Tech shot 40.7 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three-point range. LU made 49.1 percent of its attempts and 37.5 from beyond the arc. Lindenwood outscored FIT in the paint, 30-20, and off turnovers, 17-11. The Lions also won the battle for rebounds, 31-26.
The Crimson and Gray got off to a strong start in the contest and, after Daniel knocked down his third three-pointer, FIT reached its largest lead at nine points with 11:44 remaining in the first half.
Late in the first half, the Lions rattled off three straight treys to gain a 37-29 advantage with 1:55 remaining. The Panthers scored the final five points before halftime on a jumper by Majors and a three-pointer by Daniel and went into the break trailing, 37-34.
Majors opened the second half by knocking down a three to tie the game at 37-37. From there, LU ensued on a 19-3 run over the next 8:23 of game time and grabbed a 59-40 edge, its largest lead of the contest.
Florida Tech answered with its own spree and outscored the Lions, 17-4, to trim the deficit to just six, 63-57, with 5:38 left on the clock. Mate Papai’s layup, off a great drive and dish by Valsson, cut the margin to four, 68-64, with 1:24 remaining.
Looking to lengthen the game, FIT began to put LU on the free throw line with just over a minute to go. However, the strategy was unsuccessful. The Lions made 5-for-6 at the line and the Panthers were unable to convert on the other end, allowing Lindenwood to build its lead back to 10 before the final buzzer.
Florida Tech is back in action Tuesday, Nov. 21, hosting Johnson & Wales at 7 p.m. at the Clemente Center. Fans can access live coverage of the action at FloridaTechSports.com/live.
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