FIT Men’s Basketball Wins 8th Straight Game

By  //  February 28, 2013

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Panthers Now In Fifth Place In Conference

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech mid-year junior transfer Terrance Tubbs delivered 27 points in 25 minutes to guide the Panthers to a 90-82 Sunshine State Conference win over Nova Southeastern on Wednesday at the Clemente Center.

Florida Tech’s Terrance Tubbs scored 27 points to lead the Panthers to a men’s basketball win over Nova Southeastern on Wednesday night in Melbourne. (Image courtesy of Florida Tech)

FIT (15-10, 8-7 SSC) has now won eight straight games, while NSU drops to 14-11, 6-9 SSC.

Entering the game, the Panthers’ seven-game win streak matched last year’s string of consecutive wins. With its latest victory, FIT has now won the most consecutive games since the 2007-08 season when it started the year at 11-0.

Tubbs scored nine straight points in a three-minute span of the first half and entered halftime with 11 points. As the team was preparing for the second half with a 38-37 lead, Tubbs was noticeably not on the court.

Randy Echols replaced Tubbs in the lineup to start the second half and helped the Panthers remain on top most of the first eight minutes. Tubbs would re-emerge from the locker room after dealing with a stomach bug at the break.

He subbed in for Echols at the 11:17 mark and played as if he was perfectly fine. He went a flawless 5-of-5 from the field, 3-of-3 from the arc and 3-of-3 from the line to close out the period with 16 points.

The Ypsilanti, Mich. native ended the contest with a game-high 27 points. Reid contributed 17 points in the second half and finished with 22. Chris Carter had 20 and David Usic had eight as the five starters accounted for all 90 of the team’s points.

“What an incredible performance by Terrance,” Mims said. “He made 8-of-13 shots, went 5-of-7 in threes and finished with 27 points, two assists and four steals. He had a great first half with 11 points. We were getting ready to start the second half and were wondering, ‘Where’s Tubbs?’ We inserted Randy Echols in the game because we were out of time. [Assistant coach] DeMario Robinson came back from the locker room and said he was throwing up. The game got close in the first eight minutes of the second half. He returned to the bench and said he could go. He put all of the pain and sickness behind him to step up for this team big time.”

The Panthers close out the month of February with a perfect 8-0 record. It’s hard to believe that heading into the month, they were in last place in the SSC at 1-7 in the league and 7-10 overall. Now, FIT occupies the fifth spot in the conference standings.

Mims attributes the vast turnaround over the last eight games to the team’s growth and maturity.

“Early on, I don’t believe our guys really knew what it took to win in this league,” Mims said. “Although we were 1-7 after the first half of our conference schedule, we played well during big portions of those games, but we’d dig ourselves in a hole and have to fight back. We didn’t play consistent, hard enough or smart enough. In the end, we would always give ourselves a chance, but we’d shoot ourselves in the foot. All the sudden, we started getting smart. We understood two things. The first thing is what it takes and the effort it takes to win consistently in this league. The second thing is we really began to understand our system. We started to make great decisions in the execution of our system, both on offense and defense.”

FIT will play its last game of the regular season on Saturday at home against Tampa. The team will honor its lone senior Julius Reid prior to its 4 p.m. tip-off.