No. 18 Panthers Seek Third Straight Win Vs. St. Leo
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // February 4, 2015
Key focus for FIT, slow down Melissa Jackson
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Returning to the Clemente Center for four of its next five games, No. 18 Florida Tech tips off its homestand with a visit from Saint Leo Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m.
One month ago to the day, a scrappy Saint Leo ball club pushed Florida Tech to the brink before the Panthers escaped with a two-point overtime victory.
A win on Florida Tech’s home floor would be the type to make the Lions’ season.
For that reason, head coach John Reynolds knows his team can’t overlook the Lions, despite their 7-12 record.
“They took us to overtime,” said Reynolds.
“It came down to one possession. I said it the last time, ‘If that’s the difference between the top and bottom of the league, you better show up with your ‘A’ game or you’ll get beat.’”
If not for a career-high 30 points from guard Shequana Harris, and a few clutch buckets down the stretch, Florida Tech would’ve suffered its first loss of the season back on Jan. 3 rather than it coming three weeks later to No. 14 Rollins.
In a contest that featured 12 ties and 13 lead changes, Florida Tech quickly realized nothing comes easy in its first Sunshine State Conference road contest of the year.
Trailing by a deuce with 12.9 seconds to go in regulation, point guard Morgan Steinert buried a mid-range jumper from the baseline to keep the Panthers alive and force overtime.
In the bonus session, Harris tallied seven of her 30, but it was Kaila Callender who eventually delivered the dagger from beyond the arc with 33 seconds left to send the Panthers to their 11th straight win.
The Crimson and Gray hope to reverse their fortune from the free throw line on Wednesday after converting just 12-of-25 (48.0%) the first time around.
Stricken by a bit of bad luck, Saint Leo (7-12, 2-7 SSC) enters its matchup with the Panthers having lost three league contests by a total of four points. However, the Lions did secure a narrow 59-54 win against Barry over the weekend.
FIT must focus on slowing down Lions’ leading-scorer Melissa Jackson, who has accumulated eight double-doubles thus far and produced a dominating 26 points and 18 rebounds in the teams’ prior meeting.
Head coach Missy West’s club is looking for its first true road win (0-5) on the year.
Tune into FloridaTechSports.com for complete coverage of the action. Jim Mitchell and Paul Van Scott will have the call live from the Clemente Center.