Tampa Eliminates Panthers from SSC Tourney, 69-52

By  //  March 6, 2015

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3-of-20 from three-point land

Kayk Wilson’s team-high 13 points weren’t enough, as Florida Tech fell to Tampa 69-52 in the SSC Quarterfinals. (Photo by Jim Hogue)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In a contest that would’ve gone a long way in terms of a potential NCAA Tournament berth, the Florida Tech Panthers shot just 29 percent en route to 69-52 setback to Tampa – and an early Sunshine State Conference Tournament exit.

As it became much of their enigma in finishing the regular season 5-6, the Panthers couldn’t buy a basket, converting just 3-of-20 from beyond the arc Thursday.

John Reynolds
John Reynolds

“We couldn’t get a shot to fall all night,” said head coach John Reynolds.

“You can’t shoot 30 percent in this league and expect to win a game. We had good looks too. We made some adjustments in the second half, and had look after look, but couldn’t get anyone to knock one down. I congratulate Tampa. They stuck to their game plan, and the biggest thing was they made shots.”

Off to a mighty slow start, Florida Tech dug itself a 12-point hole by making 2-of-14 through the game’s first 10 minutes.

Demonstrating excellent ball movement, Tampa assisted on 12 of its 13 field goals in the first half.

A Juliana Cavallaro three-point bucket extended the Spartan lead to 18 with 5:37 to play before halftime.

Down by as many as 21, Florida Tech garnered a bit of momentum heading into the locker room when Kayk Wilson buried a three-pointer as the halftime buzzer sounded to trim the deficit back to 14. The trey was Florida Tech’s lone make from deep in the first half.

Out of the locker room the Panthers showed more life, but the lack of offense continued to be the pressing issue.

Florida Tech hit only four of its first 13 attempts to begin the second half, yet still was in striking distance down 13 with 10:54 remaining in regulation.

The Panthers hung around, but the critical run it needed never seemed to show on Thursday.

A lay-in by BreAnn Davis eventually slashed the Spartan lead to single digits with 6:26 left, but the Panthers would get no closer the rest of the way.

“I never truly felt we were out of it,” said Reynolds.

“I expected us to make our run at some point. We got it down to nine, but we just couldn’t get stops. Every time we even sniffed some sort of run, Tampa answered.”

As a team, Tampa shot 55 percent from the field in knocking off the Panthers for the second time in a month.

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Wilson recorded a team-high 13 points in the losing effort, while Shequana Harris chipped 9 of her own.

Currently on the NCAA Tournament bubble, FIT hopes to hear its name called on Sunday’s selection show at 10 p.m.

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