Panthers Pounce On Saint Leo To Win, 61-54

By  //  February 5, 2015

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'Tonight we outrebounded Saint Leo 32-27'

Randy Echols scored a career-high 18 points in Wednesday’s win over Saint Leo. (Image by Amanda Stratford Photography)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida Tech received a pair of strong performances from two new starters in Randy Echols and Caleb Wigginton in Wednesday’s 61-54 victory over Saint Leo at the Clemente Center.

Randy Echols
Randy Echols

Randy Echols, making his first-ever career start as a redshirt junior, led the Panthers with a career-high 18 points on 5-of-8 from the three-point line.

Wigginton, making just his second start of his freshman season, contributed 13 second-half points and finished with 15 for the game.

He has now scored in double figures in five of his last six games.

Billy Mims
Billy Mims

“Tonight I started three of our best three-point shooters,” head coach Billy Mims said.

“Just those three went 9-for-18, or 50-percent, from the arc. I think that’s the reason why we won the basketball game.”

Corbin Jackson’s double-double streak ended at six as he totaled nine points and eight rebounds with two blocks.

Chris Carter had seven points with five rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block.

“Another thing that really helped us tonight was our 32 rebounds. In the game at Saint Leo, we were outrebounded 32-27. Tonight we outrebounded Saint Leo 32-27,” said Mims.

Saint Leo’s Cale Girten, the star from the first meeting between the two teams in January, connected on a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to send the teams into the locker room tied at 24.

An Echols’ three with 12:53 to play gave FIT a 10-point lead. However, Saint Leo’s resiliency helped chip away the deficit to just one point on two occasions with the last occurring at the 2:11 mark.

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Down the stretch, Echols hit a big three-pointer and the Panthers hit enough free throws to seal the seven-point win.

“I thought we defended well at Eckerd and tonight was an extension of that,” Mims said.

“We held Saint Leo to 39-percent shooting tonight, 36-percent for the first half. We shot 46-percent. In the second half, we made a blazing 65-percent of our shots. When you can shoot like that at home, you have a chance. We were 9-for-22, or 41-percent, from behind the arc. That’s great shooting.”

The Panthers will hit the road for two away games starting with Saturday’s SSC match-up at Tampa.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m., or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the 2 p.m. women’s game.

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