Panthers Feast On Chilean National Team

By  //  November 2, 2012

Exhibition Win Launches New Season

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Although some of the familiar faces from one season ago are gone, Florida Tech showed promise in its 78-56 exhibition win over the Chilean National Team Thursday night at the Clemente Center.

Sophomore Jermaine Jackson led Florida Tech with 22 points in an exhibition win over the Chilean National Team on Thursday. (Image courtesy Florida Tech)

Two Panthers that helped FIT achieve the success it experienced one season ago played a big role in the final score.

Sophomore Jermaine Jackson led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-16 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line.

All-Sunshine State Conference honoree senior Julius Reid chipped in 18 points with eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

Chris Carter, a sophomore transfer from the Air Force Academy, had 11 points with four assists in his preseason debut. He and Jackson also pulled down eight rebounds each.

“You have to remember Chris [Carter] has only been practicing in this system for two-and-a-half weeks,” head coach Billy Mims said. “I thought the big three we expected to play well did play well. Julius Reid was two rebounds and two assists from a triple-double. He’s an All-American candidate. He’s just a solid basketball player. Jermaine Jackson showed a lot of multi-facets of his game. The three guys we had in double-figure scoring were the same as our three leading rebounders, Julius, Jermaine and Chris. All had eight rebounds each. This could be a season where our leading rebounders are our guards because our guards rebound the ball so well.”

FIT built a 40-23 lead by halftime. Jackson scored 14 first-half points and Reid nearly matched his teammate with 12.

In the second half, the Chilean National Team was outscored by only five points, but the Panthers held their counterpart to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor in the final period. Chile finished the game with a 32.7 field goal percentage, while FIT posted a 46.9 percent clip.

“It was a lot of fun being back on the court,” Mims said. “We told our guys to take a lot of pride in playing here on this floor. We have great crowds with the help of our local support and our student body. I think we have the best fans in the Sunshine State Conference. I told our guys, and I don’t want to be a jinx, we haven’t lost on our home floor in 2012. The last time we were beaten was Nov. 2011 during our Thanksgiving Tournament by UDC (University of District Columbia). Our goal is to remain unbeaten on our home floor.

“We have a lot of newcomers and they understand what that [Sunshine State Conference] championship meant to us last year. They’ve bought into what it means to work hard and be a champion. Tonight, I was really excited to coach this new edition of Florida Tech Basketball.”

The Panthers won’t lace up again until they open the 2012-13 regular season on Friday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. against Puerto Rico-Bayamon at the Clemente Center.