Embry-Riddle Hands Florida Tech First Loss At Home 94-77
By Florida Tech // November 22, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech had only faced Embry-Riddle once since the turn of the century, and on Saturday didn’t appear ready for the challenge the Eagles would present. Embry-Riddle raced out to an 18-point advantage in the first half and never looked back as it ran away with a convincing 94-77 win at the Clemente Center.
The Eagles set the tone by scoring the game’s first seven points, claiming a lead they would not once relinquish.
Six players scored in double-figures, paced by Reed Ridder’s 19 points, as Embry-Riddle’s ridiculous 65.6 percent shooting in the first half was too much too overcome despite Randy Echols’ career-high tying 23-point effort.
“They came out tonight and were hitting on all cylinders,” head coach Billy Mims said following the Panthers’ first loss of the season.
“The difference was our inability to keep them from getting to the basket and making easy shots and our inability to make the same easy shots on the other end. They’re well-coached and play to their strengths extremely well. That’s as good of a passing team we’ll face all year.”
Florida Tech didn’t hit its first field goal until the 14:47 mark in the opening half and was quickly left with an uphill battle the rest of the way.
Corbin Jackson laid in two of his 12 first-half points to cut the deficit to 43-30 with 2:22 to go before halftime, but outside of Jackson, the rest of the team converted just 7-of-26 shot attempts in the game’s first 20 minutes and found itself down 51-35 at the break.
Jackson stuffed the stat sheet in the loss, notching his fourth consecutive double-double to start the year with 19 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and four steals.
“Mr. Double-Double did it again,” Mims said in reference to Jackson.
“He gave us an All-American performance and the kind of effort it takes to win big games. I feel sorry with the effort he put out there that we came up short.”
Similar to the start of the contest, Embry-Riddle poured in the first eight points of the second half and eventually built its largest lead of the night at 26 with 15:30 to play.
Left with no choice, the Panthers forced a frenetic pace and soon began chipping away at the steep deficit.
A 13-2 spurt pulled Florida Tech to within 15 midway through the half on a fast break lay-up by Pat Anderson. Less than two minutes later, Echols drained one of his season-high seven three-pointers to bring Florida Tech to within single-digits for the first time since 10:18 remaining in the first half.
By that point, all the Panthers’ energy had been expended as the Eagles were able to go away comfortably and put an exclamation point on the win with a Joseph Gonzalez left-handed slam.
Anderson finished an assist shy of his first career double-double, totaling 11 points and nine assists, while Isaac Spence chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
FIT will look to bounce back quickly as it welcomes Puerto Rico-Mayaguez to the Clemente Center Monday at 7 p.m. ET.