EFSC Basketball Teams Close Up Non-Conference Play Against National Ranked Teams
By Mark DeCotis // January 1, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Eastern Florida’ men’s and women’s basketball teams play their final non-conference games on Saturday both facing nationally ranked teams.
The men, 12-2 and ranked 18th nationally and fourth in Florida, host Harcum College of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Harcum is 13-1, ranked 17th nationally and third in the nation in points per game at 105.9.
Tip off is 4 p.m. at the Titan Field House on the Melbourne Campus where the men have won 53 straight games. Admission is free.
The women, 7-7, and ranked eighth in Florida while playing the nation’s toughest schedule according to the Massey Ratings, play Daytona State at noon in Daytona Beach.
Daytona State is 12-1 and ranked seventh nationally and third in Florida.
The women’s Thursday home game against ASA Miami has been cancelled.
Saturday also presents men’s head coach Jeremy Shulman and women’s head coach Jim Grimes the final opportunity to prepare for defense of their Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference titles beginning Wednesday.
The men, who have won three straight conference championships, visit unbeaten Palm Beach State (13-0) at 7 p.m. in Lake Worth while the women, who won their first title since 2002, travel to St. Petersburg for a 5:30 p.m. game with St. Petersburg College (2-11).
But before both coaches can concentrate on their respective schedules within their conference – once again expected to be the toughest in Florida – the Saturday games loom.
“We’ve been working hard since returning from the Christmas break,” Grimes said.
“We know what awaits us in a very tough Daytona State team and then 15 games in the conference where everyone will be giving us all they’ve got since we are the champions.
“We hope the schedule we have played has prepared us. We’ll find out on Saturday and then for sure beginning on Wednesday.”
Shulman had similar sentiments.
“Harcum is very good,” he said. “They obviously can score, having broken the 100-point mark nine times. Their only loss was to Miami Dade, which is in our conference. That says a lot about what awaits us beginning Wednesday.
“Like the women our guys know what lies ahead. We’ll know soon enough whether they are up to the challenge.”
Grimes will look to sophomore Paola Vasquez, who is ranked ninth nationally with 43 three-pointers, to continue her sharpshooting along with guards Nene Johnson and Emma Grimes.
As a team the Titans are fifth nationally making 9.9 three-pointers per game.
Eastern Florida’s men rank fifth nationally in rebounds per game with 51.1. They are 11th in three-point percentage at 41.9; 17th in assists at 20.4; 11th in opponents’ field goal percentage at 36.9; 11th in offensive rebounds per game at 18.8; and 14th in defensive rebounds per game at 32.4.
The women and men open their home conference schedules with a doubleheader on Jan. 9. The women host Miami Dade at 2 p.m. and the men host Broward College at 4.