Florida Tech Set to Welcome Nova Southeastern, Look To End Three-Game Skid
By Florida Tech // January 18, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Seeking a turnaround nearing the midway point of its Sunshine State Conference slate, Florida Tech plays host to league foe Nova Southeastern Monday at 2 p.m. ET.
A lack of consistent play has proven detrimental to the Panthers, losers of three straight and four of five overall, but following an off weekend perhaps the extra rest is exactly what the doctor ordered.
During the current skid, Florida Tech has seen a heavy dose of zone defenses, and will be presented with it yet again in Monday’s matchup with the Sharks.
“The basketball gods must really love me,” head coach Billy Mims said sarcastically after the Panthers latest loss to Rollins.
“First, we start off with four in a row on the road in conference. Then we come back after winter break and draw four straight games against zone teams. We feel like we’ve been doing a better job executing our zone offense, but know that’s something that bothers us. We’re just hoping to get some confidence back.”
Florida Tech appeared on the verge on snapping its losing streak versus the Tars last Wednesday, but were outdone by Rollins’ Jeff Merton, particularly in the second half.
The 6-5 sophomore notched 20 of his career-high 28 points after the break, and at one point tallied 16 straight points to help the Tars blow open an even-matched contest en route to an 89-74 win over the Panthers.
Corbin Jackson has definitely not been the one to point any fingers at throughout the recent rough patch, though. The redshirt senior carried the Panthers their last time out with a season-high 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.
Over his last three games, Jackson is averaging 15 points, 11.3 rebounds, while converting 69.2 percent of his attempts from the field. It would certainly come as no surprise to see the Viera High School product earn his third consecutive SSC Defensive Player of the Year honor by season’s end.
Nova Southeastern has endured its fair share of struggles as well. The Sharks are a combined 0-7 outside of NSU Arena in 2015-16 and enter Monday a surprising 1-5 overall in the league.
Despite their lack of success on paper thus far this season, the Sharks still are no pushover, with each of their five conference defeats coming by an average of just 4.8 points per game.
Head coach Gary Tuell’s club is led by Division II Bulletin Preseason All-American Chris Page. Page ranks sixth in the SSC in scoring (19.6 ppg), yet was held to only 14 points on 5-of-20 shooting in Saturday’s 84-79 loss at home to Florida Southern.
The Panthers escaped Fort Lauderdale with a narrow 77-74 victory in last year’s first meeting with Nova Southeastern. However, just four weeks later, the Sharks returned the favor by sending the Florida Tech seniors out with a frustrating 77-71 defeat in the 2014-15 home finale.
Jim Mitchell and Paul Van Scott will have the call live from the Clemente Center. For complete coverage, log onto FloridaTechSports.com/live.