Despite Record Setting Night Panthers Season Ends in First Round of Conference Tournament
By Daniel Supraner, Florida Tech Sports // March 1, 2018
majors becomes school's all-time leading scorer, daniel breaks own three-point record
MIAMI SHORES, FLORIDA – Florida Tech saw its season come to a close in the quarterfinal round of the Sunshine State Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night as the No. 8 seed Panthers fell to the top-seeded Barry Buccaneers, 102-83, at the Health & Sports Center.
Jordan Majors led Florida Tech with 32 points and added five rebounds but became the schools all-time leading scorer when he scored the Panthers final two points of the game with 25 seconds left in the contest.
Majors, a red-shirt senior set the mark with 1,898 career points, passing the previous mark set by Justin Sedlak in 2011.
“I am really proud of the journey Jordan Majors had at Florida Tech,” said head coach Billy Mims. “The very first week he was on campus FIT, he tore his ACL during a pickup game and had to medically redshirt and miss his first year.”
He came back from that devastating injury and was a four-year starter and one of the most consistent players I ever coached in my career at Florida Tech or anywhere else.
Tonight for him to finish it off with a 32-point performance and become the all-time leading scorer, passing Justin Sedlak who was just inducted in the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame, it’s a well-deserved ending to an amazing career.
Elsewhere on the floor for the Panthers, Patrick Anderson added 15 points, four rebounds, and four assists while Richard Coil recorded 11 points and four rebounds. Michael Milligan finished with nine points and three assists.
The Panthers were unable to keep pace with a hot-shooting Barry squad in the first half. The Bucs made 72 percent from the field and 80 percent from beyond the arc in the opening period, compared to the 42.86 percent shooting by FIT. The difference allowed BU to take a 19-point lead.
Barry also outrebounded the Panthers, 34-25, and outscored them 46-36 in the paint.
Florida Tech got off to a strong start and led the Bucs 13-7 after a layup by Coil 4:37 into the contest. With his first three of the game, Anderson gave FIT a 23-20 lead with 12:27 left in the first half and became the third member of the current team to join the 1,000-point.
A 16-0 run by BU helped the Bucs grab a 36-23 edge on a three by Elvar Fridriksson with 6:24 to go. The Panthers trimmed the margin to 43-32, on a layup by Majors with 1:42 left in the half. However, Barry closed the half on an 8-0 run and went into the break leading 51-32.
BU continued its impressive offensive display in the second half. The Bucs’ lead reached 31 points, 74-43, following three straight makes beyond the arc.
Even though the game was becoming out of reach, the Panthers continued to fight and were able to trim the home team’s advantage to 89-71 with 5:44 left. However, the Bucs pushed their lead back to 20 on the ensuing possession and cruised the rest of the way.
Daniel’s trey with 52 seconds remaining, which made the score 99-81, set a new FIT single-season record for threes in a season at 98. The Kingsland, Georgia native, and the program’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made, now has 248 for the Florida Tech career.
After last seasons disappointing but close loss to these same Buccaneers in the SSC quarter-final game, the Panthers entered the off-season with lofty expectations. The Panthers were set to have three returning senior starters but as summer and the start of fall arrived, injuries and academics became Florida Tech’s undoing.
FIT began the season with four straight losses but climbed back to 5-8 by the end of the calendar year. The Panthers would climb to 10-8 by Jan. 17 but a four-game losing streak would have them chasing the .500 mark for the rest of the season ultimately finishing 13-16.
The Panthers ended the season as one of the better road teams in the Sunshine State Conference finishing 6-5 away from the Clemente Center. However, FIT went just 7-9 in Melbourne, including several losses to teams they held late leads against and should have beaten.
The future is bright for head coach Billy Mims. He returns key players such as Richard Coil, Antonis Pfonis, Val Vasson as well as Derek Murphy, who did not play this year due to injury.
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