DeLise Williams – Sports Lowdown Photo

The Florida Tech women’s basketball team gave their playoff hopes a bit of a boost on Saturday, beating the Palm Beach Atlantic 61-52 in a Sunshine State Conference matchup.

DeLise Williams did her part, as usual, leading the Panthers with 17 points, seven rebounds four assists and three steals in 35 minutes. Tereza Sedlakova had 10 points and seven rebounds and Tanease Richardson had 10 points of her own.

The Panthers only shot 32.3 percent from the field (20-of-62), while the Sailfish were 20-of-50 (40 percent). The Panthers defense forced 19 turnovers, including 11 steals, while they only turned it over six times. Florida Tech scored 16 points off those turnovers.

The game was pretty even through much of the first quarter but the Panthers took a 12-10 lead on two Williams’ free-throws with 4:22 to go. A layup by Richardson made it 14-10 and after a Hannah Grimm free-throw, Richardson laid in another and Williams scored the final bucket of the stanza with 1:01 left, giving the Panthers an 18-11 lead.

Tyler Davis got the Sailfish back to within three 18-15 but back-to-back successful free-throws by Markeema Crawford and then the same for Williams, making it a 22-15 game. The Panthers stretched the lead to 29-21 before Grim hit a three with 33 seconds left to close the gap to 29-24. A late layup by Williams gave Florida Tech a 31-24 lead at the half.

The Sailfish (4-20, 3-15 SSC) got a three-pointer from Jane Svilberg with 8:32 left in the third to get the home team within two, 31-29. The Panthers answered with a 6-0 run but a Tyler Davis three with 5:04 to go, made it 37-34. Gracie Doane answered with a three of her own, stretching it back to six.

Davis would hit another three with 2:31 left, 42-39 and after a Panthers free-throw by Richardson, Ciara Cumbie made it 43-41. Nkriu Anyagaligbo tied things up with less than two seconds left when she laid it in. That set up a 10-minute game, as this game was knotted at 43.

Anyagaligbo led the home team with 12 points, Davis had 11 and Grim finished with 10.

After Sedlakova and Anyagaligbo traded layups to start the quarter, The Panthers went on a 7-0 run and led 52-45. Richardson’s three on the next possession made it 55-47 with 5:41 left in the contest.

Grim’s bucket with 1:57 to go made it 57-52, but that was as close as the Sailfish would get, as Amanda Allen closed things out with a three with under a second to go, giving the Panthers the victory.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Palm Beach Atlantic Box Score

The Panthers (11-13, 8-10 SSC) return home Wednesday night to take on the Embry-Riddle Eagles at 5:30 p.m.

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