Without Teams Leading Scorer, Florida Tech Women Suffer First Road Loss of Season
By Florida Tech // January 11, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The road has been quite friendly to Florida Tech this season as the team has come out on top in all six of its trips away from the Clemente Center. On Saturday that streak came to end as the Panthers were unable to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit, falling to Palm Beach Atlantic 64-54 at Rubin Arena in West Palm Beach, Florida.
With leading scorer Shequana Harris inactive for the game, sidelined with an injury, someone else was going to have to step up and take the reigns against the Sailfish.
Making her first ever start for the Crimson and Gray, Tereza Sedlakova notched a career-high 15 points to lead the Panthers. The Pezinok, Slovakia native made 2-of-3 attempts from behind the arc in the game in addition to grabbing four boards in 31 minutes of action.
The Panthers appeared to sleep walk throughout the first quarter Saturday. Decimated by eight turnovers and PBA’s dominance on the glass, FIT allowed a 9-0 run towards the tail end of the period to fall behind 23-14.
Ayanna Holmes man handled FIT all game long and nearly matched her points per game average in the first quarter alone, opening with eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the field. Holmes finished the game as the top scorer, tallying 21 points to go along with nine rebounds.
The Panthers continued to be outplayed in all facets in the second quarter. Just when it seemed they had built a bit of momentum, cutting the deficit to five at the 6:01 mark, sloppy passing let the Sailfish stretch their cushion out to double-figures on a lay-in by Darsan Deshazier with 2:31 remaining.
With a 31-18 advantage in the rebounding department and 18 points off 12 Panther turnovers, PBA took a 38-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Sedlakova had seven points at the half while Tiesha Flagler added six points and four rebounds. Hannah Grim recorded 12 points and five boards to lead the Sailfish.
Showing more energy, Florida Tech opened the second half with a Flagler lay-in on its first possession. A three-point play converted by Sedlakova trimmed the Sailfish advantage to 46-41 with 5:21 remaining in the third.
Minutes later, Sedlakova did it again, this time draining a trey from the wing to help the Panthers pull within one possession, 50-48, at the 1:38 mark of the third quarter.
Still down, but hanging around in the fourth, the Panthers’ began to force plays on the offensive end, leading to several costly turnovers. One of those errors came out of an FIT timeout that the Sailfish capitalized on for a three by Nina Krstic, extending the lead back to double-digits, 59-48, with 6:35 remaining in the game.
A Flagler lay-in finally got the Panthers on the board in the quarter with 3:29 left on the clock, however a three-point by Holmes with over a minute remaining sealed the deal as the Sailfish handed the Panthers their fourth loss of the season and second in regional play.
Head coach John Reynolds’ was frustrated with his team’s performance in the game.
“We never, ever played basketball today,” he said.” They just out-toughed us all day. We didn’t have a player that showed up with any heart today. They came to compete and we didn’t.”
Flagler recorded 11 points in addition to eight rebounds and five assists, both team-highs. Kailyn Ebb also scored 11 points, matching a season-high for the sophomore. Ebb also hauled in seven rebounds and three assists in the game.
DeLise Williams finished with seven points and six rebounds and Julie McCarthy notched six points and two blocks.
Grim posted 14 points and seven rebounds for PBA, while Janelle Cannon filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals. Nkiru Anyagaligbo was a force in the paint snagging a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with eight points.
For the game, the Sailfish outrebounded FIT 56-42, including a 22-10 advantage on the offensive glass which led to 18 second chance points. PBA scored 25 points off 20 FIT turnovers, while the Panthers could only muster 10 points off PBA’s 16 turnovers. The Panthers were no slouches on defense, however, finishing with 12 blocks and 10 steals in the game.
Florida Tech will look to bounce-back from the loss as it returns home Wednesday to face SSC foe Rollins at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Tars (7-6, 3-3 SSC) are coming off a 79-42 win over Saint Leo on Saturday. RC swept the season series against FIT last year.
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