The Florida Tech men’s basketball team took one on the chin Saturday, losing to Palm Beach Atlantic 93-79 in a Sunshine State Conference game at the Clemente Center.
“They outworked us,” Panthers coach Billy Mims said after the game. “Everything we tried to throw at them, they had an answer for.”
The Panthers got 24 points from Sam Daniel and 21 from Jordan Majors, but both struggled from three-point range, going 2-of-8 and 1-of-8 respectively. RJ Coil finished with a double-double, pouring in 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The three-point shooting was a big difference in this game, as the Panthers went 6-for-31 as a team, which equates to 19.4 percent. PBA went 10-for-26, for 38.5 percent.
The Panthers went down 9-2 early and didn’t make their first field goal until Majors got a layup with 3:15 gone in the first half. Daniel’s layup less than a minute later tied things up at nine and the teams see-sawed back-and-forth for a while until the Panthers got their first lead of the night on a three by Majors with 14:30 to go in the half.
Later in the half, the Sailfish reeled off seven points in a row, stretching their lead to 10, 33-23 with 6:15 to go. With 4:44 left. The Panthers cut it to 33-28 with 4:44 to go and then the wheels came off.
Patrick Anderson, who was in the lineup for the first time this season. hit the deck going after a loose ball. The whistle blew and he was still fighting for the ball. He hit a PBA player with an elbow and drew a technical foul. Adding insult to insult, Daniel argued with the referee who made the call and picked up a technical of his own.
“With that jump ball it’s our ball,” said Mims. “The arrow’s going our way, just drop the ball, get up and walk away from it. We didn’t do that.”
“At that point in time PBA had gotten into our head,” Mims continued. “We’ve now lost our focus and PBA goes to the line and makes three free-throws.”
From that moment, the Panthers were outscored 17-8 over the remaining minutes of the half and went to the locker room down 50-36.
From there, the Sailfish just needed to play their game and they did that. The Panthers did cut it from 17 at the start of the half, down to six at the 5:44 mark, when Majors scored to make it 75-69, but that’s as close as they would get as Palm Beach Atlantic extended it to a 12 point lead with 3:43 to go when Jules Jasmin made it 84-72. Jasmin led all scorers with 27 points on Saturday, going 12-of-15 from the field.
Florida Tech (6-7, 1-4 SSC) battled back again cutting it to seven, 84-77 on a three by Michael Milligan with 2:55 to go. That was as close as it would get down the stretch, as PBA would score the next seven points to put it out of reach.
For more info: Palm Beach Atlantic @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers are right back at it Sunday, with an exhibition game against Division I Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers Dunk City, as it has become known. The Eagles are 8-8 going into the game against the Panthers. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.