Florida Tech Panthers Fall To Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 87-36 In Atlanta

By  //  November 4, 2018

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Derek Murphy led Panthers with 17 points

The game was back-and-forth through the first 11 minutes of the first half but the GT depth took over and the Yellow Jackets eventually ran away with an 87-36 victory. (GT Image)

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – The Florida Tech men’s basketball team took on Georgia Tech in a preseason exhibition on Saturday evening at the McCamish Pavilion. The game was back-and-forth through the first 11 minutes of the first half but the GT depth took over and the Yellow Jackets eventually ran away with an 87-36 victory.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner for giving us the opportunity to open our season on the big stage, under the lights, against a historic ACC program and an outstanding university,” said Florida Tech head coach Billy Mims. “We wish them all the best this season.

“Their size, strength, and athleticism was a real problem for us. Defensively, they took us out of almost everything we wanted to do. In an opening exhibition like this, you have to look for the positives and then try to correct the negatives. We’ve only practiced for less than two weeks, so we’re definitely a work in progress.”

Despite the result, the Crimson & Gray saw a coming out party from forward Derek Murphy. The redshirt junior, who didn’t play last season due to injury, recorded 17 points, nine rebounds and a block in 35 minutes against the ACC opponent.

“Derek Murphy hadn’t played a game in over a year and his performance tonight showed that he’s excited to be back on the court,” Mims said.

Antonis Pefanis added eight points and four rebounds in 29 minutes for the Panthers.

“Antonis had a very efficient game and brought a lot of intensity,” added Mims. “Mekhii Noble had a nice debut as well with some nice points and rebounds in his first-ever NCAA appearance. Senior RJ Coil was far from full strength with some injuries and a cold, which kept him from being an impact tonight on either end.”

The Ramblin Wreck opened the scoring on a fast break layup by Alvarado. The Panthers answered with a trey by Murphy to grab a 3-2 lead on the ensuing possession.

After GT took a 7-3 edge, Florida Tech regained the lead, 9-7, on consecutive threes by Murphy and Pefanis.

The Panthers’ final lead of the game came with 8:29 to go in the first half on a put-back dunk by freshman Mekhi’s Noble to put FT ahead 14-12.

GT went on to outscore Florida Tech, 24-3, the remainder of the first half and took a 19-point lead at the break.

“I thought we came out and defended really well in the first half, holding an ACC team to only 36 first-half points,” stated Mims. “But the drought was caused by too many turnovers, poor shooting, and a lack of rebounding. You just can’t turn the ball over 26 times and have poor shooting and rebounding and expect to compete.”

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The Yellow Jackets opened the second half on a 21-2 run and then cruised the rest of the game, eventually winning by a 51-point margin.

In addition to the game, the Panthers were also able to enjoy a little reunion with some alumni of the program. Former Panthers who made the trip to Atlanta to watch Florida Tech compete were all-time leading scorer Jordan Majors, who came down from Kentucky to see the game, as well as Patrick Anderson and Dave Stephens.

Florida Tech resumes preseason action on Wednesday, Nov. 7, with another Division I showdown in Boca Raton against Florida Atlantic. Tip-off between the Panthers and Owls is set for 7 p.m. at FAU Arena.

For the latest news, updates and information on the Florida Tech men’s basketball team, visit FloridaTechSports.com

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