The Florida Tech Panthers played an impressive game in all facets Wednesday, beating Rollins 64-43 in a Sunshine State Conference women’s basketball game at the Clemente Center in Melbourne.
“You get embarrassed and if you’re a true competitor and that competition is in your heart, you turn that into a better effort,” said Panthers head coach John Reynolds. “I thought we did that tonight.”
The Panthers shot 39.3 percent from the floor (24-of-61) and hit seven of 17 three’s, a 41.2 percent clip. Add to that, their 9-of-12 (75 percent) from the charity stripe and that is a recipe for success.
Gracie Doane and DeLise Williams led the Panthers with 15 points each, with Doane going 5-for-10 behind the arc. Williams nine rebounds led the Panthers with Tereza Sedlakova close behind with eight.
The Tars (10-8, 5-7 SSC) only led a couple times in this contest, first 2-0 and then 5-2 when Julia Ingler made a three-pointer with 7:10 to go in the opening quarter. A three by Williams gave the Panthers a 6-5 lead with 5:14 to go and the Panthers took control from there. They held Rollins to just two points the rest of the first quarter and outscored them 17-7 overall.
The Panthers (9-9, 6-6 SSC) kept the momentum going in the second quarter. Kailyn Ebb made back-to-back baskets with 4:03 left, giving the Panthers a 25-13 lead. Doane made a three with 1:36 to go, giving the Panthers a 31-18 lead and Williams layup with one second left in the half made it 33-20 as the teams headed to the locker room.
The Panthers held a decisive advantage in rebounds 21-14, second-chance points 10-2 and points off turnovers, 12-7 at the break.
The Panthers scored five consecutive points to start the second half with Amanda Allen hitting a three to expand the lead to 38-20 with 8:50 to go. Jaylyn Harrison answered with one of her own for the visitors. She led the Tars in scoring with 12 points.
Both teams went into a couple scoring droughts in the quarter, but the Panthers still managed 17 points and led 50-33 thanks to an Ebb putback with 40 seconds left, giving the Panthers a 50-33 lead with one quarter remaining.
Doane hit another three with 7:34 to go and the Panthers extended their lead to 53-35. She would back that up with another long-ball with 4:32 left, helping the Panthers extend to a 59-37 lead. Her final three of the night came with 1:06 to go, giving the Panthers their final points of the night.
A big part of this win was the Panthers ability to rebound the basketball. They had 39 as a team, 17 of them offensive.
“If you’re gonna win in this league the second time through, you gotta bring your A-game,” said Reynolds. “We were all over the offensive glass tonight and we made three’s when we really needed them.”
For more info: Rollins @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers have a bye this weekend before returning to action on January 31, at Lynn. The tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.