Tampa Hands Florida Tech Fourth Straight Loss 81-63, Panthers Road Woes Continue

By  //  February 9, 2019

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Florida Tech Drops to 8-14 (2-12)

Florida Tech’s road struggles continued in its SSC contest with Tampa on Saturday as the Panthers were dealt an 81-63 loss at the Bob Martinez Center. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech’s road struggles continued in its SSC contest with Tampa on Saturday as the Panthers were dealt an 81-63 loss at the Bob Martinez Center.

Tech has now dropped four games in a row and slipped to 1-6 on the road this season.

Tampa led wire-to-wire in the game and earned the season sweep of the Crimson & Gray. The Panthers were limited to their lowest shooting percentage of the season in the loss, making just 29.9 percent from the field. UT, on the other hand, converted 44.4 percent of its shot attempts in the game.

Derek Murphy scored a game-high 19 points and led the Panthers in rebounding (6) and assists (4). Darius Wright added nine points, four rebounds, and two steals. Antonis Pefanis notched eight points, while Mekhii Noble recorded seven points and two boards.

The Spartans got off to a fast start in the game, jumping out to a 10-2 lead just 3:05 after the opening tip. The score reached 17-2 following a pair of free throws by UT’s Alberto Moreno with 13:58 to go before halftime.

Threes by Murphy, Trey Schaneville and Pefanis helped the Panthers cut the deficit to 20-13 with 9:28 remaining. However, the Spartans answered with a quick 9-0 run and grabbed a 29-13 lead with less than eight minutes left in the first half.

Tampa’s advantage reached 17 points, 37-20, following a three by Freddy Ibrahim with 5:11 to go in the frame.

The Panthers fought their way back into the game thanks to a furious 14-2 run that brought Tech within five, 39-34, with 2:27 remaining. Wright was the main catalyst during the spree, scoring half of Florida Tech’s points in the run.

Ibrahim would knock down a pair of free throws with just over a minute left to give the Spartans a 41-34 lead at halftime.

Similar to the first half, Tampa opened the second on a 17-7 run and increased the Panthers’ deficit back to 17 points, 58-41, with 12:21 to go in regulation.

Again, Florida Tech climbed its way back into the game on the heels of a 10-2 run. Schaneville’s three capped off the spree and made the score 60-51 with 10:09 remaining but Brent Duncan’s lay-in with 9:41 to go pushed UT’s lead back to 11.

From there Tampa would cruise the rest of the way, leading by no less than double-digits the remainder of the second half en route to an 18-point victory.

Florida Tech finished the game shooting 20-of-67 from the field, including 9-of-25 from long range, and made 14-of-18 on free throws. Tampa went 28-of-63 from the field while hitting on 8-of-29 threes and 17-of-23 at the charity stripe.

The Panthers ended with a slight edge in rebounding, 44-43, but Tampa dominated points in the paint, 44-14.

Florida Tech To Discontinue Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis and Women’s GolfRelated Story:
Florida Tech To Discontinue Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis and Women’s Golf

The men’s basketball team is back in action this Wednesday, Feb. 13, hosting Saint Leo in SSC action at the Clemente Center. Tip-off between the Lions and Panthers is set for 7:30 p.m.

A special halftime event will take place during Wednesday’s game as Florida Tech’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) presents its annual Pie-A-Coach. SAAC is selling raffle tickets, two (2) for $1. One ticket equals one vote. The coach/staff member with the most tickets gets the most pies! So come support SAAC and Make-A-Wish while getting a good laugh!

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

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