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Fourth Quarter Struggles Sink Panthers

Tereza Sedlakova Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown

Florida Tech gave the sixth-ranked Alaska Anchorage Seawolves all they could handle on Friday, but in the end, the host team held on for a 66-56 in the nightcap of day one of the DII Coast to Coast Classic in Anchorage Alaska.

The Panthers shot well in the first half, going 11-for-25 from the field (44 percent), including 4-of-8 from three-point range. They went cold in the game-deciding second half, hitting just 8-of-26 shots (30.7 percent). They ended up going 19-of-51 overall, good for 37.3 percent, which included 2-for-9 (22.2 percent) from long range.

Gracie Doane led Florida Tech with 15 points, while Tereza Sedlakova had 14 and Kailyn Ebb scored 10. Sedlakova and Ebb had seven rebounds each to lead the Panthers. Florida Tech outrebounded the Seawolves 29-25, but free-throws down the stretch helped Anchorage Alaska pull away.

Two early three-pointers got Alaska Anchorage out to a 6-0 lead, with Doane getting the Panthers first Panther points 3:39 into the contest, on her first of four threes on the day. The Seawolves stretched their lead to 10-3, but the Panthers battled back to get to 10-7 and another three by Doane with 3:43 to go, cut the Anchorage lead to 13-10.

Florida Tech (2-3) made it 15-12, but a three by Sydni Stallworth made it 18-12. Jahnna Hajdukovich’s three with one minute left made it 21-14. a late Sedlakova free throw closed the gap to six, at the end of the first quarter.

The Seawolves (5-0) got the first bucket of the second quarter, but the Panthers then scored 10 straight points, as part of a 14-2 run and took a 25-23 lead with 7:32 to go, thanks to another Doane three.

After Alaska Anchorage tied it at 25, Florida Tech reeled off six more, going up 31-25. Tara Thompson made a three for the Seawolves with 59 seconds left, making it a one-point game and two free throws by Hannah Wandersee with five seconds left, gave Alaska Anchorage a 32-31 lead at the half.

The third quarter went back and forth early, with Sedlakova’s layup giving the Panthers a 39-38 lead with 4:56 to go. A three by November Morton and baskets from Gudlaug Juliusdottir and Doane gave the Panthers a 46-42 lead with 2:55 left. An offensive drought from both teams allowed the Panthers to take that lead into the fourth quarter.

As expected, the two teams matched baskets early and two free throws from Sedlakova made it 50-50 with 7:03 left. Unfortunately, Florida Tech would be outscored 16-6 down the stretch, allowing the home team to escape with a victory.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Alaska Anchorage Box Score 

The Panthers will look to rebound tomorrow night when they take on Simon Fraser University at 6:30 p.m.