Clark Atlanta got the best of Florida Tech in the battle of the Panthers on Saturday, winning big, by the score of 90-69 as the two teams wrapped up their stay at the South Regional Tipoff Challenge, at Rollins College. Combined with Friday’s loss to Morehouse, the Panthers fall to 0-2, both regional losses.
Sam Daniel bounced back from early struggles to lead the Panthers with 29 points, 22 of those coming in the second half. He also had 10 rebounds to finish a double-double. Jordan Majors finished with 15 points and eight rebounds and Richard Coil also finished with a double-double, 13 points, and 15 boards.
Things did not go well for Florida Tech from the get-go. Clark sprinted out to a 14-0 lead before Mate Papai finally laid one in with 4:52 having elapsed. Daniel had missed his first four shots including three from long range, finishing the first half with seven points.
Florida Tech (0-2) made a bit of a run in the first half, going on a 7-0 run and cutting the lead to 21-15. That was as close as they would get, as Clark Atlanta answered with a 6-0 run of their own and followed with a 10-0 run, leading 46-23 at the half.
Despite shooting 1-of-10 from the field and 1-of-7 from three, Daniel was tied with Papai for the scoring lead with seven points in the first half. Akil Douglas was the leading scorer for Clark Atlanta, finishing with 20 first-half points and 35 for the game. He was 15-of-18 from the field.
The story of the half and eventually the game were turnovers. Florida Tech turned the ball over 14 times in the first half and Clark Atlanta scored 19 points off those turnovers. Clark only turned it over three times in the half.
Florida Tech made just six field goals in the first half, shooting 28.6 percent. Clark Atlanta shot 45.7 percent.
Things did not go much better for the Panthers in the second half, as they made a couple 6-0 runs, but it didn’t matter, as the deficit was too much to overcome. Turnovers continued to be a problem for Florida Tech, who 10 more times in the final 20 minutes, giving Clark Atlanta 11 more points in the second half. Florida Tech turned it over 24 times total, with Clark Atlanta scoring 30 points.
The closest FIT got in the second half was 12 points, with 8:42 left in the game. Clark Atlanta quickly took any hope of a comeback away, as they went on an 8-0 run and never let the Panthers get closer than 15 the rest of the way. Florida Tech did outrebounded Clark 39-34 but was otherwise dominated statistically.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Clark Atlanta Box Score
The Panthers will open their conference season on Wednesday, heading right back to Winter Park, to take on this tournaments host, Rollins College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.