Florida Tech Win Streak Ends After 84-63 Loss To Eckerd Tritons At Clemente Center

By  //  December 1, 2018

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Florida Tech falls to 5-2 (0-1)

The Florida Tech men’s basketball team just were no match for a hot shooting Eckerd squad on Saturday and the Panthers fell to the Tritons, 84-63, in their SSC opener at the Clemente Center. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech men’s basketball team just were no match for a hot shooting Eckerd squad on Saturday and the Panthers fell to the Tritons, 84-63, in their SSC opener at the Clemente Center.

The loss snaps the Crimson & Gray’s five-game win streak as Tech moves to 5-2 on its home court this season.

Antonis Pefanis put in another great game with 19 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. RJ Coil went a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, including a make from three, to get to another double-double with 15 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.

Derek Murphy added 11 points, five boards and three assists, while Valur Valsson ended with eight points and a game-high eight assists.

Florida Tech and Eckerd each finished with 32 rebounds while the Panthers had a slim advantage in points in the paint, 28-26. However, the Tritons recorded 22 points off 17 Tech turnovers and held a 10-0 edge in fast break points.

But the major difference in the game came in the shooting department. Florida Tech made 41.8 percent (23-of-55) of its shots in the game, including 34.8 percent (8-of-23) from beyond the arc. The Tritons, on the other hand, shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the field and an impressive 54.2 percent (13-of-24) from three-point range.

Great play by the Panthers had them leading, 9-5, early on after Murphy’s second layup in the first few minutes of the game.

However, Eckerd began to hit its stride, and its shots, and ensued on a 10-3 run that helped the Tritons take a 15-11 lead with 14:06 left in the first half.

Drushaun McLaurn’s jumper with 9:39 remaining pushed Eckerd’s edge to 21-16. However, the Panthers were able to tie the game at 21 following a layup by Coil and a three by Pefanis on consecutive possessions.

EC would answer though with treys on three straight possessions, including Marco Behori’s with 4:13 to go in the half, and pushed its advantage to 30-23 over Tech.

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The Tritons’ lead reached as much as nine points in the final moments before eventually taking a 37-30 edge into halftime.

Eckerd’s lead reached 54-37 following a 17-7 run by the Tritons to open the second half. Their advantage then grew to 62-42 after a pair of free throws by Shaquille Harris with 10:49 remaining.

The Tritons increased their lead to 25 points with just over four minutes to before eventually winning by a 21-point margin.

Florida Tech will look to bounce back from this defeat when the Panthers host Tampa in SSC action next Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Clemente Center. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

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