Panthers Down Fort Valley State

By  //  December 20, 2012

FIT Hosts CarMax Classic Dec. 29-30

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech faced Fort Valley State for the 16th time in program history on Wednesday and was in search of its 10th all-time win against the Lady Wildcats. The Panthers, with clutch free-throw shooting down the final stretch, went on a 20-8 run over the final 10 minutes to secure their 10th win over the Lady Wildcats, 68-54.

Florida Tech junior Ida Gustafsson had a season-high 13 points and seven rebounds in the Panthers win over Fort Valley State on Wednesday night. (Image courtesy of Florida tech)

“Down the stretch we took care of the ball,” head coach John Reynolds said after the game. “The difference in the game was that in the last four minutes, we made free throws and executed our offense.”

Florida Tech (6-2) led Fort Valley State (3-3) by just two points, 48-46, with 9:59 remaining in regulation.

Junior Ida Gustafsson, who returned from injury, was fouled and sent to the line. The 6-foot-1 forward drained both free throws to give the Panthers a 50-46 lead.

Over the next nine minutes, FIT began to pull away. The Panthers extended their lead to 10 points, 64-54, after going on a 16-8 run.

With 59 seconds remaining, junior Rita Acevedo was fouled and sent to the charity stripe for a chance to extend the lead to 12 points. And that is exactly what Acevedo did.

The 5-foot-7 point guard hit both free throws to give FIT a 66-54 lead. Thirty second later, Acevedo was sent back to the line where she knocked down two more free throws to give the Panthers a 68-54 lead and the eventual victory.

Sophomore Kayk Wilson finished with a game-high 21 points and a career-high eight rebounds. Wilson also went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe to lead the Panthers. Wilson has now scored 20-plus points in three games this season.

Gustafsson also finished the game in double figures in her first contest since Nov. 25. She recorded a season-high 13 points with eight coming in the second half, and a season-high seven rebounds.

FIT will take a nine-day break before returning home to host its 2012 CarMax Holiday Classic at the Clemente Center from Dec. 29 and 30.

The Panthers will open the classic against Palm Beach Atlantic at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29.