Sam Daniel – Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech men’s basketball team traveled back to Winter Park Florida for their third game in five days on Wednesday and came up on the short end of an 83-72 score in their Sunshine State Conference opener against Rollins.

Florida Tech (0-3, 0-1 SSC) got 24 points from Sam Daniel, but Sam Philpott led the charge for Rollins, scoring 23 of his 26 points in the second half, thwarting any hopes of a Florida Tech comeback.

The game started as a see-saw affair with the Panthers down 16-12 with 11:00 left in the first half. A three-pointer by Valur Valsson got the Panthers to within 19-17 at 8:44 and Daniel tied it with a free-throw with 7:27 left. Unfortunately for Florida Tech, the Tars were sparked by a 23-7 run to end the half and were up 44-28 in the blink of an eye.

Valsson started the second half with a three for FIT, but 4:53 into the half, Rollins still led 53-41. A 7-0 run later in the half cut the Rollins lead to 58-51, but a three by Jack Fleming got it back to 10 with 11:53 to go in the game. Daniel was fouled shooting a three, with 4:04 left and that cut the lead back to seven, 73-66, completing a 9-0 run.

That was as close as the Panthers would get, as Philpott and the Tars were dominant down the stretch.

Florida Tech shot 45.6 percent from the field (26-of-57) and 14-of-41 (34.1 percent) from three-point range. Daniel made the majority of those, going 6-for-15. Rollins scored 24 points off 13 Florida Tech turnovers and they outrebounded the Panthers 32-29.

Jordan Majors finished with 14 points and R.J. Coil had 12, giving the Panthers three double-digit scorers.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Rollins Box Score

Florida Tech opens their home schedule with a 2:00 non-conference tipoff against Lindenwood University on Saturday, November 18.

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