Florida Tech’s Defense Propels Panthers To Victory Over Flagler 59-51
By Florida Tech // December 16, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech has been a menace to opponents on the road this season, winning every game and holding teams to just 55 points. The defense remained stalwart on Tuesday, as the Panthers held Flagler to just 26 percent shooting and fought off a late rally by the Saints to secure the 59-51 win at Flagler Gymnasium.
With the result, Florida Tech (7-2) extended its winning streak to four games and remained undefeated in five attempts on the road. Flagler (4-2), on the other hand, had a three-game winning streak come to an end
Shequana Harris led FIT with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. The Bronx, New York native also finished a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Tiesha Flagler had an impressive homecoming in the win as well. The Hastings, Florida native recorded Florida Tech’s first double-double of the season on 13 points and 11 rebounds. The senior captain also dished out three assists, as well, and finished 7-of-9 from the free throw line.
Falling a few rebounds shy of a double-double was Kailyn Ebb who came off the bench to notch a season-high 11 points and eight rebounds. DeLise Williams filled up the stat sheet for her team, tallying five points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Panthers led the entire game as the defense imposed its will on the Saints’ shooters. In the first quarter, FIT held FC to just two field goals, 20 percent shooting and five turnovers as the Panthers built a 12-7 lead after 10 minutes of action.
The defense continued to clamp down in the second period, holding the Saints to no field goals made and just seven free throws as FIT went into halftime with a 27-14 advantage.
FC was held to just 8.7 percent shooting in the half, while the Panthers made 32.1 percent of their attempts from the field. FIT controlled the rebounds as well, doubling up the Saints 28-14 on the glass. Tiesha Flagler led the Panthers with 10 points and six rebounds after the first 20 minutes as her team grabbed a 13-point lead heading into halftime.
The Panthers’ defense continued its pressure in the third, enabling John Reynolds‘ squad to build an 18-point with 6:52 remaining in the quarter. However, seven points by Teosha Ray and six turnovers by FIT, allowed FC to cut its deficit to just 10 points entering the fourth.
The Saints kept at it in the final stanza, holding the Panthers to just three made field goals, while FC knocked down nine in the quarter.
Ray brought her team’s deficit down to five with just 2:41 remaining in the game, however time ran out on the Saints as the Panthers connected on their final free throws to close out the game.
The Saints finished the game shooting 26.2 percent from the field while the Panthers made 33.3 percent of their attempts.
FIT’s size down low made a difference in the game, as the Panthers outrebounded their opponent 49-34, including 18 on the offensive glass.
The Panthers look to continue their strong play as the team heads into this weekend’s CarMax Holiday Classic hosted by Florida Tech. FIT faces Fort Valley State Saturday evening at 5 p.m. ET before matching up wits with No. 4 Drury Sunday at noon.
Live coverage for both games will be available at FloridaTechSports.com/live.