Florida Tech Panthers Ready for First Taste of SSC Action on Home Floor Tonight
By Florida Tech // January 6, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – With six straight Sunshine State Conference contests upcoming at the friendly confines of the Clemente Center, the Florida Tech Panthers will hope to gradually distance themselves near the top of the league standings beginning with a visit from Saint Leo Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Panthers survived a brutal four-game stretch on the road to open their SSC slate with an intriguing 3-1 record after overcoming an 11-point first-half deficit to defeat Lynn 101-85 this past Saturday.
Redshirt sophomore guard Jordan Majors poured in 31 points and nine rebounds, both career-highs, to lead a Florida Tech team that shot 72.7 percent in the second half to its 10th victory in its last 12 meetings with the Fighting Knights.
“I talked to our guys about shot selection before the game tonight,” said head coach Billy Mims.
“At Stetson, our shot selection was poor so we worked really hard for a couple of days on making good decisions with the basketball.”
SSC Defensive Player of the Week Corbin Jackson registered a season-high 20 points on 10-of-14 from the field to go along with six blocks, while point guard Jermohn Queen tallied 15 points and six assists in his first regular season start.
Florida Tech has now outscored its opponents after halftime by an average of 18 points per game in its last three following its 61 second-half point effort in Boca Raton, the highest point total in a single half since a 110-69 win against Trinity College on Dec. 19, 2011.
“We’ve been a second half team this year, I don’t know what it is,” said Mims.
“We just can’t dig ourselves too deep of holes in the first half.”
In his first season since joining Saint Leo by way of South Carolina-Aiken, head coach Vince Alexander has the Lions off to an 8-6 start after knocking off Palm Beach Atlantic 92-87 three days prior. Saint Leo drained a season-high 17 three-pointers, including a combined 12 from leading-scorer Marcus Dewberry and freshman Carter Belling, to end their two-game skid.
Despite the barrage, the Lions and Sailfish remained tied with 3:05 to play before the home team ran off the next seven points to hold on for the ‘W’.
Jackson and the Panthers will look to exploit a Saint Leo club that was outrebounded 48-32 by PBA, and enters Wednesday dead-last in the conference with a -5.8 rebounding margin.
SLU is winless away from the Bowman Center in 2015-16, losing each game by an average of 9.25 points.
FIT and SLU have split their previous eight regular season matchups, the most recent being a 61-54 Panther victory on Feb. 4, 2015.
Jim Mitchell and Paul Van Scott will have the call live from the Clemente Center. For complete coverage, log onto FloridaTechSports.com/live.