Florida Tech Falls Short In Upset Opportunity Against Stetson 93-83, Lynn Up Next
By Florida Tech // December 31, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech expected to compete from start to finish heading into Wednesday’s exhibition matchup with NCAA Division I Stetson. However, head coach Billy Mims and company didn’t exactly expect the Hatters’ Luke Doyle to be the one to thwart any chances of their potential upset bid.
On a career day, Doyle sparked Stetson off the bench with a program record-tying eight three pointers as the Hatters were able to stave off the Panthers 93-83 at the Edmunds Center.
The redshirt sophomore entered shooting just 28.6 percent from beyond the arc, but finished 8-of-11 from deep in 25 minutes of action to give Stetson just enough juice to pick up its first victory in two weeks. Alongside Doyle, the Hatters’ Brian Pegg collected a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while leading-scorer Derick Newton added 16 points and four assists.
Corbin Jackson paced four Panthers in double-figures with 20 points, eight boards and five blocked shots. Meanwhile, Jermohn Queen registered 19 points and six assists in his first career start in Crimson and Gray.
Sam Daniel matched Queen with 19 of his own in 35 minutes with Jordan Majors chipping in with a dozen.
“It was a great matchup for us,” said Mims.
“On their home floor, I think we came in here and competed like a low to mid-major Division I team would come in here and compete. I’m proud of the performance from our guys.”
Florida Tech got off to a quality start after Jackson sunk his first three shot attempts in the opening moments of the ball game, but a collective 5-of-7 clip from the field by Stetson put the Hatters in front by a slight 12-8 margin at the first media timeout.
The Panthers would withstand the Hatters’ early push, though, and even the score at 17-17 with 12:14 remaining in the first half thanks to a fast break slam by Daniel on a feed from Pat Anderson.
Minutes later, Jermohn Queen connected on a four-point play from the wing to give Florida Tech its first lead of the afternoon, yet an immediate 13 unanswered points run off by Stetson allowed the home team to grasp control up 35-24.
Aided by 57.1 percent shooting and 32 points in the paint, coupled with just one turnover on the offensive end, Stetson found itself on top 50-38 at the intermission.
“When it comes to raw strength, I thought Stetson showed a lot of raw strength and there were times when it really paid off for them,” said Mims.
Like they have a number of times this season, the Panthers seemed to make a couple tweaks at the break to allow themselves to climb back into the contest.
Jordan Majors found his offensive rhythm out of the locker room, scoring seven of the Panthers first nine points of the second half. The Hopkinsville, Kentucky native converted the hoop and the harm to cut the deficit back to single digits with just over 17 minutes to play.
With Florida Tech continuing to hang tough, the Panthers inched even closer on another three-point play, only this time from Daniel.
Florida Tech trailed by just six under the midway mark of the second half, but just as it seemed the Panthers may put a scare into the Hatters, Doyle drained three consecutive devastating treys to blow the game open. From there, Florida Tech wouldn’t get any closer, falling to Stetson for the second time in as many seasons.
“We knew he was a great shooter, but he was way more open than he should have been on a number of occasions,” Mims said about Doyle.
“He was the difference in the basketball game.”
The Panthers stood toe-to-toe with Stetson in nearly every statistical category, but were beaten at the line, attempting only 15 free throw attempts to the Hatters’ 29.
FIT will dip back into the Sunshine State Conference portion of its schedule this Saturday at 4 p.m. when it travels to Boca Raton, Florida to face Lynn.
“I definitely think it’s an advantage to find a quality opponent like this, go on the road in a good environment, and be challenged,” Mims added.
“Today didn’t hurt our record at all, we’re still 9-3 overall and 2-1 in the league. What it did do, though, was hopefully get us ready for a very tough road basketball game coming up at Lynn University.”