The Florida Tech Panthers couldn’t have drawn it up any better on Friday night, coming away with a dominating 82-35 win over the Claflin Panthers in the opening game of the SSC-SIAC Challenge, in Tampa, Florida.
Four Florida Tech players finished in double figures, led by November Morton‘s 16 points. Gracie Doane finished with 14, while Aniquah Swan and Fanny Hakanson each had 12. Tereza Sedlakova and Kailyn Ebb chipped in with nine each. Sedlakova’s 18 rebounds paced FIT and were a career-high for the Slovakian senior.
Florida Tech (1-0) started fast with an 11-0 run, led by Amanda Allen‘s five points. They were the only five points she scored and they came in the first 2:03 of the game. After a Claflin hoop, Doane hit the first of her three three-pointers on the night, to up the Panthers lead to 14-2. She would hit her second one less than a minute later, to boost the lead to 15.
Morton’s three with 1:24 to go made it 28-4 and the Panthers led 28-7 when the first quarter ended.
Claflin scored seven points again in the second quarter, with most of those coming early in the stanza. Morton and Hakanson hit back-to-back three’s 46 seconds apart, giving FIT a 42-14 lead with 4:54 left in the half, as the Panthers closed the quarter with a 13-0 run to lead 50-14 at the half.
FIT took their foot off the gas a little bit in the third quarter, scoring 17 points, while Claflin put up 13. They did have a 9-2 run in the quarter and led 67-27, as the buzzer sounded in the third.
The final 10 minutes got off to a slow start with the first bucket coming from Claflin with 7:49 to go. Sedlakova went on a personal 5-0 run with a three and two free throws.
It took 3:07 before the next points went on the board, a layup by Makyla Daniels of Florida Tech. They ended the game on an 8-3 run, with Shakarri Mack hitting a three for Claflin with 29 seconds left, to stop the run.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Claflin Box Score (Tampa, FL)
The Panthers will wrap up their weekend on Saturday with a 5:00 p.m. game against LeMoyne-Owen.