Florida Tech Panthers Move To .500 On Season With 91-77 Win Over Puerto Rico Bayamon
By Mitch Praxl, Assistant Athletic Communications Director // November 22, 2016
four Panthers score in double figures
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Led by four Panthers in double figures, the Florida Tech men’s basketball team (3-3) scored 53 second half points en route to a 91-77 victory over Puerto Rico Bayamon on Monday at the Clemente Center.
Jordan Majors paced the Panthers with 20 points (8-of-18) and fell just shy of a triple-double with nine assists and nine rebounds. Antonis Pefanis scored a season-best 19 points (7-of-9) and was 4-of-6 from long range in 19 minutes of action.
After tallying just two points in the first half, Sam Daniel notched 15 second half points to finish with 17 and six boards. Robert Booth was a force in the paint for the Panthers, recording a double-double on 10 points (4-of-6) and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Nathaniel Martinez guided UPRB with 23 points, while Jesus Marquez recorded 16 points. Luis Cuascut led Bayamon in the paint with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Overall, Florida Tech made an impressive 50.7 percent from the field (35-of-67), including 38.5 percent from beyond the arc (14-of-33), and converted 11-of-15 at the line. Bayamon shot 47.6 percent in the game (35-of-69). FIT outrebounded UPRB 44-30 including a 14-7 disparity on the offensive glass.
“They’re a tough team to defend because they’re so small and quick,” stated head coach Billy Mims.
“There is no team like them in our conference. We’re a big team, our size helped us dominate on the boards tonight but the speed hurt us being able to defend one-on-one.
“But overall I thought we defended really well tonight, especially in the second half. We were able to adjust to their speed and picked up our offense in the second half thanks to key contributions from guys like Antonis Pefanis and Michael Milligan off the bench.”
It was a back-and-forth affair over the first half. A 5-0 run by Bayamon had them in the lead 22-20 just before the third media timeout. However, from there the Panthers regained a 28-22 advantage thanks to a pair of treys by Pefanis and a rebound and put back by Booth.
FIT would remain on top over the final 6:43 of action and go into halftime with a 38-32 lead.
Florida Tech built its lead to 10, 57-47, with 13:25 to go off Daniel’s second three-pointer of the half. Cuascut’s putback with 11:51 cut Bayamon’s deficit to single digits, 61-52.
Milligan’s trey less than a minute later increased the Panthers’ lead back to double-digits 64-52.
Pefanis’ fourth trey of the night gave FIT its largest lead at 85-67 with 3:23 remaining. The Panthers then cruised through the final minutes of action, eventually winning by a 14-point margin.
Following the holiday break, the Panthers will be back in action this Friday and Saturday as they host Bluefield State, Tuskegee and William Jewell for the Florida Tech Thanksgiving Tournament. Tuskegee and William Jewell open the event at 4 p.m. ET on Friday; followed by the Panthers versus Bluefield State in the nightcap at 7 p.m.
Fans can access live coverage of the action at FloridaTechSports.com/live.
Join Alan Zlotorzynski and Coach Billy Mims tomorrow at Off The Traxx in downtown Melbourne for the Billy Mims show live on Space Coast Daily TV starting at noon.
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