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Panthers Pounce on Saint Thomas

Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown Fanny Hakanson

The Florida Tech women’s basketball team finished their preseason schedule with a 76-57 win over Saint Thomas, an NAIA school located in Miami Gardens. 

“I thought we got out of it what we wanted to,” said Panthers head coach John Reynolds. “We got a lot of kids that are simarlarly talednted, so we’re still trying to figure out who plays best with whom. That’s gonna take some time.” 

Florida Tech started the first quarter on a 9-1 run and stayed pretty consistent throughout the first 10 minutes. They led by as many as 17,  34-17, after Makyla Daniels dropped in a layup with 4:37 to go in the half. Gracie Doane‘s jumper with 2:07 left ended a drought for both teams and the Panthers went on to score eight of the final 10 points in the quarter. 

“I thought the first half we shot the ball well,” he continued. “I think we had too many turnovers in the third quarter to ever figure out what we were doing and we fouled too much in the first half, but that’s why you play exhibition.” 

Senior Kailyn Ebb and sophomore Fanny Hakanson poured in 15 each for the Panthers, who outscored STU 20-11 in the first quarter and 22-8 in the second quarter. 

Hakanson, who is from Stockholm Sweden, finished 4-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-6 from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. 

“Fanny is a really good basketball player, she’s got really good court vision,” said Reynolds. “The only problem she’s having right now is understanding that the American game is a little quicker and a little more athletic, so passes that you can make in Europe aren’t getting through here. I think she shot the ball well in the first half, I think she directed us well from the point when she had to and she’s not a true point guard.” 

The Panthers did get points from some familiar faces, including 12 from junior Gudlaug Juliusdottir and 11 from senior Tereza Sedlakova. They were without sophomore guard Cheyenne Scott for this one, but Reynolds hopes she will be ready to go in a few days. 

Reynolds was very complimentary of the Saint Thomas squad, who outscored the Panthers 21-18 in the third quarter and 17-16 in the fourth. 

“They doubled you from behind, they pursued the ball when it got in front of them, and they played good, solid defense,” he said. “I just thought they played harder than we did in the second half.”

Destiny Wilson and Ebony Griffin led the Bobcats with 13 apiece, and Dynasty Carter had 12.  

For more info: Saint Thomas @ Florida Tech Box Score (Exhibition) 

Florida Tech will open their season in Tampa, taking part in the SSC-SIAC Challenge. The Panthers will play Claflin University on November 9th at 5:00 p.m. and LeMoyne-Owen on November 10th at 5:00 p.m.