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Panthers Falter in Fourth Quarter

Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown Gracie Doane led the Panthers with 11 points on Wednesday

It was a tale of two quarters on Wednesday, as the Florida Tech women’s basketball team lost to Embry-Riddle 60-46 in a Sunshine State Conference game at the Clemente Center. 

The Panthers 5-11, 1-7 SSC) scored eight points in the first quarter and were able to overcome that. What they couldn’t overcome was the four points they scored in the fourth quarter. They were outscored 42-12 in those two quarters combined. 

Gracie Doane was the Panthers leading scorer, putting up 11 points. November Morton was the only other double-digit scorer, with 10. Tereza Sedlakova pulled down six of the Panthers 39 rebounds.  

The first quarter saw the Panthers get down by five early, but a layup by Kailyn Ebb made it a 9-8 game. The Eagles then proceeded to hit four consecutive threes, two by Marisa Koopman and just like that, the Panthers were down 13, heading into the second quarter. 

“In the first quarter all we did was throw the ball to the other team or throw it out of bounds,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “Defensively, we’re terrible.” 

ERAU (11-5, 6-3 SSC) scored the first two baskets of the second quarter, resulting in a 16-0 run between the end of the first and beginning of the second. Florida Tech then answered with a 15-0 run, helped by back-to-back threes by Doane, and closing the gap to 25-23. Late free throws by Nicole Tucker gave Embry-Riddle a 28-23 lead at the break. 

After a Sarah Jones three started the third quarter for the Eagles, the Panthers reeled off 13 straight points and turned a five point deficit into a five point lead with 6:13 to go in the third. The Eagles would cut into that a bit, but the Panthers still held a 42-39 lead as the teams prepared for the fourth quarter. 

A bucket by Aniquah Swan to start the fourth would make it 44-39 and a Michaela Gelbaugh bucket would tie the game at 46 with 4:46 to go. That would be the last time the Panthers would score, as the Eagles took flight, scoring the games final 14 points, 12 of those coming from beyond the arc. 

“Every one of those was uncontested,” Reynolds said of the late threes. “It made no difference who I put in the game, we got guys that won’t get back on defense.” 

“We’ve lost three straight games going into the fourth quarter with a lead,” he continued. “I don’t have anything positive to say.” 

For more info: Embry-Riddle @ Florida Tech Box Score

Florida has now lost three in a row. They will look to right the ship Saturday, when they play host to Palm Beach Atlantic at 2:00 p.m.