Florida Tech Panthers Win Annual Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament, Jordan Majors MVP
By Mitch Praxl, Assistant Athletic Communications Director // November 27, 2016
FIT buries 14 threes in 98-83 victory
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – William Jewell scored the first bucket of the game at the 19:53 mark of the first half and from there, it was all FIT as the Panthers defeated the Cardinals 98-83 to win the Florida Tech Thanksgiving Tournament.
Jordan Majors was named the tournament’s most valuable player after posting 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the three point line, while also chipping in five rebounds and three assists.
Majors was joined on the all-tournament team by Sam Daniel and Patrick Anderson. Daniel tallied a game-high 29 points six rebounds, while Anderson registered 17 points and 13 assists. Robert Booth also recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.
WJC landed two players on the all-tournament team in Patrick Whelan and Jorge Perez-Laham. Whelan paced the Cardinals with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Perez-Laham had a strong game with 13 points, four assists and three boards.
The Panthers shot lights out from long distance in the opening 20 minutes, burying 10-of-16 attempts for a 62.5 percentage. FIT also turned the Cardinals over 16 times in the game, snagging 13 steals and scoring 27 points off of turnovers.
While neither team took a ton of shots from the charity stripe, FIT made the most of the few opportunities it had with a perfect 10-for-10 performance.
After giving up the early lead to WJC seven seconds in, Derek Murphy and Majors each nailed threes to take the lead for the Panthers. The two teams traded buckets throughout much of the half but FIT finished strong with a Majors jumper and a Booth Dunk right before the buzzer gave the Panthers momentum with an 11 point lead heading into the break.
“The way we ended the first half was outstanding,” said head coach Billy Mims. “We executed really well, defended really well and rebounded well. The last five minutes we opened the game up.”
Booth also scored the opening points of the second half with a jumper in the paint off an Anderson feed. The Panthers used a 9-0 run early in the half to really bust things open at 64-42 and ran the lead up to as much as 27 when Anderson sank a three at the 12:26 mark to make the score 80-53.
While the Cardinals eventually got cut the Panther lead down some, the outcome was never in doubt throughout the half as the Panthers rounded out the holiday weekend with a title on their home court.
“We ended the first half on a run and started the second half on a run and I think we kind of just knocked the wind out of them,” Mims continued. “We’ve talked about having a killer instinct, when you get people down at home putting a dagger in them. I think our guys bought into that tonight.”
Florida Tech resumes Sunshine State Conference action on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, hosting Rollins at the Clemente Center. Jim Mitchell and Paul Van Scott will have the call on FloridaTechSports.com.
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