The Florida Tech men’s basketball team faced travel issues Wednesday night that resulted in a late start at Lynn and by the time all was said and done, the Panthers ran out of gas in the second half, losing 94-77.
Jordan Majors scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half and Sam Daniel went for 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the losing cause. RJ Coil was the third member of the Panthers in double figures, finishing with 14.
Florida Tech shot 62.1 percent in the first half, but saw that number drop significantly in the second half, as they finished 28-of-63 from the field, good for 44.4 percent. They were just 6-of-23 behind the arc for the night, a dismal 26.1 percent. They lost the rebounding battle 43-35 and saw Lynn saw Lynn make 21-of22 from the charity stripe, good for 95.5 percent.
A game that was scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip started at 10:20 and ended at 12:07 a.m. The Panthers went down early 5-0 but they bounced back to tie the game at seven. From there, it was a back-and-forth affair for much of the half. Daniel had a block with under one minute left and that resulted in a Lynn foul. Those shots coupled with Majors first three of the night, made it 42-36. Lynn made two foul shots, only to commit a foul with 2.1 left in the half, giving Tech a 44-38 lead.
Unfortunately, Lynn used the 2.1 seconds that were left wisely and got the ball into the hands of Michael Baez and he drained one from downtown as the buzzer sounded, cutting the Panthers lead to 44-41 at the break.
Majors struggled from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, hitting just two of six, but he was 7-of-12 from the field. Daniel finished the half with 10, meaning that Majors and Daniel combined for 28 of the Panthers 44 first-half points.
The second half did not start badly for the Panthers as they were up 57-49 but Lynn fought back with five consecutive points and made it 57-54 Coil was hit with a technical foul with 11:05 to go, with the Panthers still up 61-59. No idea what Coil did to get the call, but the foul shots were good, tying the game at 61. That foul sent Lynn on another run and by the time the next media timeout came with 7:43 to go, the Panthers found themselves down 74-65.
From their Lynn kept their foot on the gas and built their lead, scoring a total of 53 points in the second half, before this thing mercifully ended. There are no excuses to be made and Panthers coach Billy Mims would be the first to say that, but upwards of six and a half hours on the bus, followed by a late-night game on the road was a recipe for a disastrous second half when fatigue set in and that was likely what happened here.
Credit to Lynn, who also had to stand around waiting for this game to start and despite being home, there is no doubt that their routine was altered as well. They persevered in this one and handed the Panthers a devastating Sunshine State Conference loss.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Lynn Box Score
Florida Tech (10-11, 5-8 SSC) will try to right the ship Saturday when they play host to Saint Leo in a game scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. start.