Florida Tech Rolls Past Albany State

By  //  December 10, 2012

Panthers Now 5-2 Overall

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – For the second-straight game, Florida Tech junior Rita Acevedo recorded a career-high in rebounds.

Florida Tech’s Rita Acevedo had 16 points and 12 rebounds for her first career double-double in the Panthers’ 73-55 win over Albany State on Saturday. (Image courtesy of Florida Tech)

With Florida Tech missing two key players because of injuries on Saturday, the point guard stepped up and added a career best 16 points to go with her 12 rebounds for her first career double-double in the Panthers’ 73-55 win over Albany State.

“Rita played well the entire game,” head coach John Reynolds said of his point guard. “She set the tempo with her leadership on the court. I thought her effort early in the game was really good, especially her rebounding. The rebounds didn’t just bounce to her. She went and got them.”

Acevedo pulled down five defensive rebounds in the first half to finish the opening 20 minutes with six boards.

Albany State (1-4) opened the game with a 6-4 lead, but then Florida Tech (5-2) responded with a 10-0 run led by sophomore Melissa Echols to take 14-6 advantage. Echols began and ended the run with a three-point bucket.

The Lady Rams came within two points of the Panthers, down 19-17, with 7:56 remaining. But FIT went on a 10-1 run over the next four minutes to gain its largest lead, 29-18, with 3:27 on the clock.

Redshirt freshman Peggy Smith, making her first career start, knocked down a jumper to give the Panthers the 11-point lead.

FIT and ASU exchanged buckets over the final three minutes to give FIT a 35-26 halftime lead.

In the second half, Acevedo broke out.

The 5-foot-7 point guard scored 12 of her career-high 16 points, going 5-of-9 from the field, while collecting six more rebounds in the half. Acevedo pulled down her tenth rebound of the game with 18:16 on the clock. Five minutes later, she hit a runner in the paint to earn her first career double-double and to give FIT a 49-35 lead—its largest lead of the game up to that point.

The Lady Rams did not give up, though. After trailing 56-43, ASU went on a 7-0 run to bring the deficit to just six points, down 56-50 with 6:22 remaining.

Acevedo responded with a jumper to tie her career mark of 15 points, giving the Panthers a 58-50 lead with 5:32 to play.

ASU came as close as 59-53 before FIT went on a 14-2 run to close out the game. The Panthers defeated the Lady Rams 73-55, and are now 5-0 when scoring 70 or more points this season.

Acevedo led the game with career bests in points with 16, rebounds with 12 and steals with five. She shot 60 percent from the field, while also adding four assists.

Senior Jami Chappell also pulled down double-digit rebounds, tying her career-high, with 11 and added eight points. Kayk Wilson and Rosie Hynes finished in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman Morgan Steinert, coming off the bench, added a season-high seven points, going 3-of-4 from the field, and collected three steals.

The Panthers will not return to the hardwood until Monday, Dec. 17 when they host Southwestern College in an exhibition at the Clemente Center. The contest is set to tip off at 5:30 p.m.