Panthers Hold Florida Southern to One Point in OT to Earn Win and Season Sweep
By Florida Tech // February 8, 2016
The Lady Panthers completed the season sweep of their league rival, Florida Southern, with a 58-53 overtime victory on Saturday
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – With second place in the Sunshine State Conference standings on the line, the Panthers welcomed Florida Southern to the Clemente Center seeking to complete the season sweep of their league rival.
Florida Tech (15-6, 9-3 SSC) put together one of its best offensive halves of the season to open the game, however, it was not enough to keep the Mocs (18-4, 8-4 SSC) from creeping their way back in the late stages to force overtime. In its first taste of extra basketball this season, FIT limited FSC to just one point in the final five minutes as the Panthers slipped past for a 58-53 victory Saturday afternoon.
Entering the contest, the Mocs ranked second in the SSC averaging 74.7 points a night. In two games against the Panthers this season, however, FSC has been limited to 20 and 26 points in the first half, respectively.
Florida Tech, on the other hand, was shooting just 29.2 percent from beyond the arc this season, but against the Mocs, the Panthers made 5-of-6 in the first half alone and finished the game at 45.5 percent.
After a poor 7-of-17 showing at the line on Wednesday, FIT converted 19-of-25 attempts, including 6-of-6 during overtime.
led the Panthers with a game-high 17 points and four boards. DeLise Williams notched 11 points, five boards and three assists in 36 minutes, while Diamond Cooper added 10 points and three blocks in the win.
FIT got off to a quick start in the game, making 3-of-3 from the field, to go up 8-3 at the 7:40 mark. A three by Tereza Sedlakovafrom the wing, and strong put-back by Tiesha Flagler, helped the Panthers to an 18-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Two makes by Harris from beyond the arc, and runner off the glass by Flagler, ballooned FIT’s lead to 31-20 with 5:40 left before halftime. The Mocs proceeded to go on a 5-0 run, punctuated by a Danielle Thomas lay-in, that cut their deficit to six with just over a minute remaining. Yet, Harris answered again, scoring three straight to give FIT a 34-26 advantage at the break.
The pace of the game slowed a bit after halftime as both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net. Overall, FSC made just 2-of-9 from the field, while FIT hit 1-of-13 during the third quarter.
Cooper’s turn-around hook with 3:21 left in the period increased FIT’s lead back to double-digits at 41-31. Another 5-0 run by the Mocs chipped away at the lead and made it a six point game at the end of the third, 42-36.
Two jumpers by Camille Giardina and a hook by Thomas handed FSC its first lead of the game, 47-45 with 3:56 remaining in regulation. Harris then found Cooper open at the top of the key for a wide-open jumper that tied the game at 52 with just under a minute left on the clock.
The Mocs were able to get one more shot off, but luckily for the Panthers, the game-winning heave by Sydni Payne left her hand too late and did not count.
FIT absolutely suffocated the Mocs shooters in the extra period, outscoring FSC 6-1, all from the charity stripe, to earn its third consecutive season sweep of Florida Southern and regain sole possession of second place in the conference standings.
The Panthers finished the contest shooting 36.2 percent from the field, compared to 31.1 percent by their opponent. However, FSC did win the battle on the glass 35-32 with both teams hauling in11 offensive boards.
Turnovers and fouls plagued the contest throughout. The two teams combined to turn the ball over 47 times and were called for a total of 48 fouls in the game.
Flagler was active for the Panthers, recording six points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in a season-high 42 minutes of action. Kailyn Ebbcontributed six points on 2-of-2 from the field to go along with five boards and Julie McCarthy tallied five points, three boards and three blocks in the victory.
Jensen Blassage was the only Moccasin to reach double-digit points, finishing with 11 and five rebounds. The sophomore was excellent from the line, converting on 9-of-10 attempts.
Flo Ward added nine points on 3-of-4 from deep and three boards. Anja Fuchs-Robetin and Giardina tallied eight points apiece.
Florida Tech continues the second leg of SSC play on Wednesday when it travels to Miami Shores, Florida to take on Barry at 5:30 p.m. The Panthers earned a narrow 52-48 victory over the Bucs on Jan. 20 in Melbourne.