Wednesday was not a good night for the Florida Tech women’s basketball team. The Panthers scored 13 points in the second and third quarter combined, ultimately falling to the Eagles 59-48.
The struggles on offense were met with struggles on defense, especially in that third quarter when the Eagles outscored the Panthers 19-8. Add to that the Panthers turned it over 21 times, leading to 18 Embry-Riddle points and the other stat that jumps out at you is the three assists FIT had as a team.
“The way you get a team win, sometimes you take a team loss,” said Florida Tech head coach John Reynolds. That was a team loss.”
Florida Tech (11-14, 8-11 SSC) did make a bit of a run in the fourth quarter, but Reynolds was not around to see it. He earned two technicals with 7:19 left in the game.
“The first technical was to get us going,” he said. “I didn’t know she was gonna tech me up that quick for saying that’s the best call you made all night, that never gets you a second tech.”
The original intent to get the team going did seem to work, as the Panthers outscored ERAU 23-18 in the fourth quarter, but it was too deep a hole to climb out of.
It was clear early on that Reynolds was likely not going to be around to see the finish. The officials were inconsistent throughout the contest and the Panthers were victimized by questionable calls all night. He had no choice but to get ejected because it was just getting out of hand with the number of calls that were going the Eagles way. That said, the officials did not decide this one, the Panthers inability to execute, especially on defense, did.
Markeema Crawford was the only Florida Tech player to hit double digits in scoring, with 13. DeLise Williams and Gracie Doane both finished with eight each.
The first quarter was back-and-forth throughout until Tanease Richardson came up with a block and Aniquah Swan scored on the other end to give the Panthers a 12-11 lead. Richardson’s steal with 25 seconds left preserved the lead, as the Eagles got off a half-court shot just after the buzzer sounded that would have been good had it left her hand a split second earlier.
Doane hit a three with 6:07 to go in the second quarter giving her team a 17-15 lead. That was the last advantage the Panthers would have in that quarter, as Embry-Riddle finished on a 7-0 run, with five of those points coming from Lauren Ellenberger. The visitors led 22-17 at the break.
In the third quarter, Nicole Tucker hit a three eight seconds in and another with four minutes gone by in the quarter, giving the Eagles a 32-21 lead. Ellenberger, Tucker and Morgan Ackerman all hit three’s to expand the lead to 41-23 with 2:30 to go in the quarter. Crawford hit a basket with 1:45 left in the quarter and FIT went cold from there, trailing 41-25 with 10 minutes.
Amanda Allen‘s three with 4:45 left to make it 51-38 and a three by Doane with 2:30 to go, cut the deficit to 55-45. Crawford’s three with 1:46 to go made it 55-48, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
For more info: Embry-Riddle @ Florida Tech Box Score
Florida Tech will finish the regular season Saturday at the Clemente Center. It will be Senior Day, as the Panthers play host to Nova Southeastern at 2:00 p.m. Reynolds did not guarantee that all of his seniors would start.
“I think they finished their regular season tonight because I don’t know who I’m playing Saturday, I’m not coaching a lack of effort,” he said. “Traditionally, I start all my seniors on Senior Night no matter where we are, no matter what hangs in the balance, but if seniors don’t know what a big game is, I can’t help them.”