Led by Jordan Majors 28 Points Florida Tech Panthers Upset No.7 Barry on the Road
By Daniel Supraner, Florida Tech Sports // January 7, 2018
career win 595 for head coach Billy Mims
MIAMI SHORES, FLORIDA — Florida Tech men’s basketball sent a message across the Division II landscape to not count the Panthers (7-8, 2-5 SSC) out just yet, as the Crimson and Gray shocked No. 7 Barry (10-2, 6-1 SSC), 96-83, on the road early Saturday evening at BU’s Health & Sports Center.
Jordan Majors led FIT with 26 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Patrick Anderson added 23 points, four rebounds and four steals and Sam Daniel scored 16 as the Panthers knocked off a Top-10 opponent for the first time since taking down No. 4 Barry, 88-72, at the Clemente Center on Feb. 18, 2015.
Coincidentally, that was also Florida Tech’s last victory over the Buccaneers, ending a five-game losing streak to its SSC rival.
The Panthers now boast two wins over ranked conference opponents on the road this year as they defeated No. 24 Nova Southeastern, 103-99, on Dec. 9.
Richard Coil also had a great game for the Panthers, recording 13 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Valur Valsson ended with 10 assists and six points and Michael Milligan added six points off the bench.
“I’m so proud of our team’s performance today on the road against the nation’s No. 7 ranked team for our second upset this season over a nationally ranked opponent (Nova Southeastern),” exclaimed head coach Billy Mims. “They worked hard in practice over the last two days and really believed they could do it. They executed our game plan about as good as any team I’ve ever coached.
The Panthers had their best three-point shooting game of the season against the Bucs, making a season-high 51.9 percent (14-for-27) from beyond the arc. FIT hit 50.9 percent (29-for-57) from the field in the contest, while holding Barry to 29-for-61 (.475).
Florida Tech shot well from the charity stripe in the game hitting 24-for-33 (.727) from the free-throw line, including an impressive 10-for-10 performance by Anderson. BU won the rebounding battle, 37-30, and finished with a scoring advantage in the paint, 36-26.
But Florida Tech turned the Bucs over 17 times and turned them into 28 points on the other end of the floor. Florida Tech led for much of the first half and took a 36-29 edge on a three by Darius Wright with 6:25 to go before halftime. A 13-2 run, capped by a steal and fast-break layup by Kooper Glick, gave Barry a 42-38 advantage with 2:57 remaining.
Daniel hit a last-minute free throw to tie the game at 44-44 as the teams went into halftime.
The Bucs opened the second half on a 6-0 run but the Panthers quickly answered with seven straight points of their own, including four by Majors, and grabbed a 51-50 edge at the 15:52 mark.
After the teams exchanged baskets, FIT proceeded on another 7-0 run to take a 66-60 lead with just over nine minutes to go. The Panthers built their advantage to double-digits, 78-67, with 4:25 remaining and cruised the rest of the way to their second SSC win of the season.
Coach Mims is no stranger to Barry. He spent six seasons as the head coach of Barry University from 1988–1994 where during his tenure in Miami, Barry was ranked as high as 7th in the NCAA South Region. Beating Barry also scores major style points.
The Auburn Tigers of the SEC, yes those Tigers, are officially 14-1 this season but they did lose to Barry in an exhibition game back on November 2, 100-95 in overtime. Even though it didn’t count, you better believe Tigers head coach Bruce Pearl used the loss to motivate his team heading into the start of the regular season.
The win is over Barry by Florida Tech is also a sign that the Panthers are getting healthier and starting to play a little more in sync on the court with players like Pat Anderson and Antonis Pfonis back in the lineup.
Be sure to join Coach Mims and Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski this week for “Courtside with Billy Mims,” on Space Coast Daily TV. Coach and Alan will discuss the past few games including a narrow loss in Dunk City and the upset over Barry.
Florida Tech looks to continue its momentum as the Panthers travel to Saint Leo on Wednesday, Jan. 10, for an SSC showdown with the Lions.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can access links to live coverage at FloridaTechSports.com.
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