The Florida Tech women’s basketball team doubled up the visiting Costa Rican National Team on Tuesday, winning their second exhibition game of the season 84-42 at the Clemente Center in Melbourne.
The Panthers had four scorers in double figures, led by Kareese Johnson’s 13. Amanda Allen and DeLise Williams each chipped in 11 and Markeema Crawford finished with 10. Everyone who played for the Panthers scored, with a pretty balanced attack from the outset.
While head coach John Reynolds was pleased with a lot of what his team did Tuesday night, as most coaches do… he found much to improve on.
“We gotta improve our post-footwork and we gotta improve that quickly,” he said. “We gotta get back to what made us successful down the stretch last year and that was a really patient offensive team. We didn’t exhibit a lot of patience tonight, but that’s preseason jitters and everyone trying to get out there and prove they belong.”
The game was tied at two one minute in, but the Panthers went on an 8-0 run that included two steals and finishes at the other end for Williams. With 4:30 left in the first quarter and his team up 16-6, Reynolds made wholesale changes on the floor.
After a free-throw by Costa Rica, the Panthers ripped off seven straight, including a three-ball by Gracie Doane with 1:46 to go in the opening quarter. Kailyn Ebb had a rebound and a hoop before more changes to the lineup took place. Gudlaug Juliusdottir ended the quarter with a buzzer-beater, putting the Panthers up 28-11.
Florida Tech started the second quarter with an 8-0 run and they kept the pressure on. Amanda Allen made a three-pointer with 3:14 left in the quarter and they used another 8-0 run to close the first half and took a 47-15 lead into the locker room.
The Panthers scored many of their third quarter points from the charity stripe, hitting 10 of 12 shots and Johnson hit a three with 1:24 to go, helping the Panthers to a 66-30 lead at the end of the third.
Abby White, playing in her first game as a Panther hit got her only points of the game on a three-pointer with 7:43 to go in the game. She also pulled down three rebounds as well, giving the Panthers a heck of an asset off the bench.
“She can shoot the ball and she just plays hard,” said Reynolds, when asked about White. “She’s got a good basketball IQ and does things you want her to do. She talks the whole time and communicates with the bench. She’s gonna get playing time cause she earns it.”
Point guard Cheyenne Scott impressed coach Reynolds as well. She hit two free-throws and had a rebound as well. “She can play up-tempo and settle ya down at the same time,” he said. “You gotta learn how to be the one and I thought she did a decent job tonight.”
Tanease Richardson made her return from a knee injury that happened last season and kept her on the shelf for the better part of eight months. She played in spots on Tuesday and she was understandably rusty. That said, she was 1-for-3 from the field and pulled down a defensive rebound.
The Panthers dominated statistically, shooting 30-for-60 (48.3 percent) from the field, while Costa Rica was 17-for-41. The Panthers were 21-for-28 (75 percent) from the line and were 5-for-12 (41.7 percent) from long range. They won the battle of the boards 34-19, including 16 offensive rebounds.
For more info: Costa Rica @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers host Florida Memorial on Friday, in their final exhibition game of the season. Reynolds hopes to see Richardson in limited action again and he gave Vaughne Chavez-Gray a slim chance of returning in time for that game. Michaela Gelbaugh is still going to miss some time.
Friday’s exhibition game will tip at 2:00 p.m. The regular season gets underway on Wednesday, November 15 at Rollins, a 5:30 p.m. start.