Florida Tech Defeats Benedict 91-77, Pefanis Leads Panthers With Career-High

By  //  November 11, 2018

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Pefanis leads Panthers with 27 points

Five different players scored in double-figures to lead Florida Tech to its first win of the season Saturday as the Panthers defeated Benedict, 91-77, in the final game of the South Region Tip-off Challenge hosted at the Clemente Center. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Five different players scored in double-figures to lead Florida Tech to its first win of the season Saturday as the Panthers defeated Benedict, 91-77, in the final game of the South Region Tip-off Challenge hosted at the Clemente Center.

Antonis Pefanis guided the Panthers with a career-best 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting with four treys and a 7-of-7 performance on free throws. The junior also recorded seven rebounds in 40 minutes of action.

Derek Murphy added 19 points, six boards, two assists, and two steals, while Valur Valsson notched 14 points, seven assists, and three steals. RJ Coil registered a double-double on 13 points and 11 rebounds and fellow Florida Tech big-man, Mate Papai, tallied 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting and five rebounds.

As a team, the Panthers averaged better than 50 percent shooting in both halves versus Benedict. The Crimson & Gray won the rebounding battle, 36-30, and controlled the scoring in the paint, 45-26, against Benedict. The Panthers forced the Tigers’ into 10 turnovers in the game and turned those chances into 17 points on the Florida Tech side of the scoreboard.

The Panthers also held a clear advantage at the charity stripe and made more than double (31) the total number of free throws attempted by BC in the game (15).

Florida Tech got off to a fast start against the Tigers and led 9-3 with 18:19 left in the half. That lead ballooned to 18-8 following a trey by Coil at 14:18.

Consecutive threes by Benedict’s DeShawn Graham and Davante Wiltshire trimmed the Panthers’ advantage to 20-16 with 11:28 left before halftime. However, Tech responded with an 18-6 run that brought the score to 38-22 at the 5:37 mark of the first half.

The Panthers’ lead remained in the double-digits the remainder of the half as they went into the locker room leading Benedict, 47-33.

Florida Tech opened the second half on a 7-0 run, including a three by Pefanis, and built its lead to 54-33 with more than 18 minutes to go. The Panthers’ then grew their advantage to as much as 24 points, 69-45, with 10 minutes remaining.

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The Crimson & Gray’s double-digit lead persisted the remainder of the game and the Panthers went on to earn a convincing win over a strong regional opponent.

Florida Tech will look to continue its offensive rhythm when the Panthers host Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Clemente Center. Start time is set for 7 p.m.

For the latest news, updates and information on the Florida Tech men’s basketball team, visit FloridaTechSports.com

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