Florida Tech Panthers Outscore Saint Leo 88-83 For Second-Straight Win
By Florida Tech // January 11, 2018
Sam Daniel leads FIT with 32 points
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech (8-8, 3-5 SSC) came back from an early double-digit first half deficit and then fought off Saint Leo (8-11, 4-4 SSC) in the final moments to earn an 88-83 road victory in Sunshine State Conference play Wednesday at the Bowman Center.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 3-1 in SSC road games this season.
Sam Daniel led FIT with his sixth 30-plus point game of the season, finishing with 32 on 11-for-17 shooting, including 4-for-6 from three-point land, and seven rebounds. Jordan Majors also had a great game for the Panthers, ending just one rebound shy of a double-double with 26 points and nine rebounds.
Patrick Anderson scored 10 points and dished out seven assists, while Michael Milligan added nine points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting. Richard Coil recorded seven points and nine rebounds and Valur Valsson handed out seven assists to go along with four points.
Florida Tech knocked down an impressive 58.5 percent (31-for-53) from the field against the Lions, including a season-best 52.6 percent (10-for-19) from beyond the arc. SLU made 52.5 percent (32-for-61) of its attempts in the game and 11-for-25 from long range.
The Crimson and Gray won the rebounding battle, 32-27, and scored 15 second chance points off eight offensive boards. FIT also finished with a 38-34 edge in points in the paint, while the Lions’ bench outscored the Panthers’ 31-9.
Florida Tech got off to a rocky start in the contest, missing its first six shot attempts. Saint Leo took advantage of the Panthers’ early slump and jumped out to a 12-1 lead less than five minutes into the game. The Lions then built the margin to 12 points, 21-9, with 12 minutes to go in the first half.
From there the Panthers began to hit their shots and went on a 24-11 run to grab their first lead of the ball game, 33-32, on Majors’ three-point basket at the 3:41 mark. FIT led by as much as five points in the before Saint Leo cut the margin to one, 42-41, just before halftime.
Florida Tech opened the second half on a 12-0 run to grab a 54-41 lead with 16:38 remaining. SLU stormed back and tied the game at 63-63 just over six minutes later.
Not to let the game slip away, FIT pushed its lead back to nine, 78-69, on a pair of free throws by Valsson at the 5:53 mark. Saint Leo would come as close as four points with just over a minute to go but Majors hit a layup with 33 seconds remaining and Daniel finished the game from the free throw line to give FIT a key road victory.
The Panthers return to the Clemente Center for their next game against SSC foe Tampa on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m. ET. Fans can access live coverage of the contest at FloridaTechSports.com/live.
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