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Panthers Tarred and Feathered in SSC Opener

Gracie DoanePhoto credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers had a rough go of it Wednesday night, as they opened their 2017-2018 season with a 93-65 loss to the Rollins Tars at Warden Arena in Winter Park. It was the conference opener for both teams.

Gracie Doane led the Panthers with 13 points. She made five of the Panthers six three-pointers. DeLise Williams finished with 11 and Gudlaug Juliusdottir chipped in 10.

This game got out of hand early and Rollins never let off the gas. They led 23-12 at the end of the first quarter and went on a 20-0 run in the second quarter. The victory came at a price for Rollins, who lost Tianna Rosser with 1:51 to go in the first half.

Markeema Crawford was going for a block on Rosser’s shot and Rosser landed awkwardly, going to the floor and she knew immediately it wasn’t good, as she slammed her hand on the floor. Rollins coach Glenn Wilkes, Jr. took one look and threw his head back, knowing it was serious. After a long delay, Rosser was taken out on a stretcher by the medical staff, wearing an air cast.

To the Tars credit, they got going again quickly and put the game out of reach. The only highlight of the half for the Panthers was Doane hitting three straight three-point shots in the final minute of the half. That drew the Panthers to 50-30, at the halftime break.

Florida Tech (0-1, 0-1 SSC) shot 11-of-31 (35.5 percent) in the first half. Doane led the way with nine points, Williams had six and Tanease Richardson finished with five. They turned it over 11 times, compared to only five for Rollins.

The Tars were 17-for-31 (56 percent) in that first half, including 5-of-7 beyond the arc. They were led by Julia Ingler and Carly McLendon each with eight points.

Things did not improve for the Panthers in the second half. The Tars started on a 9-2 run and Florida Tech did not score in 2:44. Amanda Allen finally broke the drought with a three to cut it to 59-35. The Tars were on another 13-3 run with 5:05 left in the quarter. They led 74-48, as the quarter concluded.

The Panthers suffered a scoring drought of 3:50 in the fourth quarter and trailed 85-55. They finally did get off the deck and start scoring as things came to a close, but they just had too big a hole to dig out of.

Florida Tech finished the game 24-for-71 (33.8 percent), hitting just six of 24 three-pointers. Rollins scored 22 points off turnovers to the Panthers eight.The Panthers did have 19 second-chance points to the Tars seven, but that was really the only category the Panthers dominated in.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Rollins Box Score

Next up for the Panthers is a non-conference game at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.