Strong Second Half Propels Panthers to Victory

Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown Amanda Allen (10) led the Panthers with 12 points on Saturday.

The Florida Tech women’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 72-46 victory over the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish on Saturday at the Clemente Center. 

FIT finished the day 26-for-67 from the field (38.8 percent). They were 7-for-14 from three-point range and made 13-of-19 free throws (68.4 percent). 

Amanda Allen led the Panthers with 12 points and Tereza Sedlakova finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Gracie Doane was 3-for-7 from long range, accounting for all nine of her points. Fanny Hakanson led the Panthers in helpers, with eight.

As a team, the Panthers forced 20 turnovers, scoring 14 points as a result. They also won the rebounding battle 49-34.

“I think we competed tonight,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “We rebounded well and I thought we went after rebounds. You get those games where four or five of those rebounds fall right in your hands. I thought tonight’s rebounds were going to get it and in position. I thought Amanda Allen and Gracie both rebounded the ball well for us out of their area and that was big for us.” 

Florida Tech (6-11, 2-7 SSC) couldn’t have asked for a better start on the scoreboard. They jumped out to a 9-0 lead, with five of those points coming from Allen. PBA got their first hoop of the day 3:07 into the opening quarter and they got their second with 4:31 left in the quarter. That was all the offense the visitors would muster in the opening 10 minutes, while FIT finished with an 8-0 run and led 21-4 after the first 10 minutes. 

To their credit, the Sailfish (2-13, 0-9 SSC) turned things around in the second quarter, hitting three shots from three-point range in the first 4:43 and that cut the Florida Tech lead to 26-18. That ignited a 7-0 run and cut the lead to 26-25. Allen immediately stopped the bleeding with a three, with 3:33 to go in the quarter. 

PBA’s Claudia Charles tied the game at 30 with a three with just under two and a half minutes left in the second. Sedlakova would get a layup for the Panthers and after a steal, Gudlaug Juliusdottir scooped it in and gave the Panthers a 34-30 lead at the half. 

It was a failure to execute for a six, seven minute stretch,” Reynolds said about the second quarter. “We got beat in transition and gave up spme wide open looks.” 

November Morton got the home team going with a three to start the third. A couple Sailfish free throws made it 37-33. A jumper by Kailyn Ebb got the lead back to six and sparked a huge 14-0 run that included threes by Allen and Doane and helped the Panthers lead balloon to 51-33 with 1:19 left in the quarter. A layup by Sedlakova later in the stanza would put the Panthers up 53-35, heading into the final 10 minutes. 

Doane’s three 23 seconds into the fourth made it 56-37. They would add four more points before PBA would get back-to-back threes from Ibilola Oyedeji to make it 60-43. Ebb would get two baskets in a row for the Panthers to make it 66-45 and Doane’s final three of the night made it 69-45 with 3:16 left. 

Florida Tech’s final points of the night came from Trine Drejer with under 31 seconds left. That would close out the 26 point victory. 

Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown Cheyenne Scott (2) & Trine Drejer (0)

For more info: Palm Beach Atlantic @ Florida Tech Box Score

It is obvious to anyone who follows this team that this win was a necessity for the Panthers if they are gonna have any chance at the postseason. 

“It keeps us in the hunt for the tournament,” said Reynolds. “I think in the end, you just gotta keep battling, we need a run of wins so we can host. Everyone else might think that’s insane, but I think we lost games we should have won, so if we put a little run together, we can be in the top four and host. We’re not that far out of it.” 

The Panthers will head to Winter Park on Wednesday to take on Rollins in another key Sunshine State Conference game. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.