In a hard-fought low scoring affair in Winter Park on Wednesday, the Rollins College Tars came back to beat the Florida Tech Panthers 58-54 in a Sunshine State Conference women’s basketball contest.
Tereza Sedlakova led the Panthers with 18 points and Aniquah Swan finished a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 boards.
Florida Tech (6-12, 2-8 SSC) struggled from the field, especially in the second half, shooting 19-for-66 (28.8 percent), including 5-for-19 behind the arc, good for 26.3 percent. The Panthers came up short in the rebounding battle, 48-45.
Rollins (9-7, 6-4 SSC) had three players in double figures, led by Rachel Jablonski’s 11 points. They were not much better from the field, going 19-for-61 (31.1 percent), hitting the same 5-for-19 from three-point range.
The first quarter was a defensive battle with each team scoring nine points. The Panthers came out on an 11-2 run to start the second quarter and held Rollins scoreless for the final 3:30.
It looked as if the Panthers were in total control, outscoring the Tars 17-5 in the quarter and forcing 14 turnovers in the first half. The Tars did not attempt a free throw in the first half, while the Panthers were hit seven of 12. That was a major reason the Panthers went to the locker room with a 26-14 lead.
Things turned around completely in the second half. After Sedlakova scored to put the Panthers up 14 and answered with another bucket after a Rollins hoop, the Tars went on a 14-0 run to tie the game at 30.
Sedlakova’s free-throw would give the Panthers the lead back briefly, but Rollins stayed with themand got their lead to five when Yari Martinez-Toro drilled a three with 39 seconds to go, putting Rollins up 39-34.
Carly McClendon’s bucket at the buzzer gave the Tars a 41-34 lead and helped her team outscore the Panthers 27-8 in the third quarter. The Panthers went without a field goal for over six minutes in the stanza.
Florida Tech did battle back in the fourth quarter. A three by Amanda Allen cut the deficit to 45-40 with 7:14 to go. Swan’s layup got the Panthers to within two with 3:22 to go and Sedlakova tied things up at 49 with 2:49 left.
McClendon got the Tars back on top thanks to a three point play with 1:09 to go, forcing the Panthers to foul. Three more Rollins free throws made it 55-49. Michaela Gelbaugh hit a free-throw with 17.9 seconds left, cutting it to five. November Morton took advantage of a Rollins turnover and drilled a three, making it a 55-53 game.
After Rollins scored, Morton hit a free-throw to make it 56-54 and purposely missed the second, trying to give her team a chance to rebound. Unfortunately, a jump ball was called and the Panthers lost the ball on the possession arrow. The Tars proceeded to salt this away from the free-throw line.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Rollins Box Score
Florida Tech will travel to Saint Petersburg on Saturday, to take on the Eckerd Tritons at 2:00 p.m.