The Florida Tech women struggled against a very potent Eckerd Tritons team Saturday, falling 71-39 in St. Petersburg. Zoe Richards finished with 19 points in 19 minutes to lead the Tritons, and Abby Whiteye finished the day with a double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
The Panthers did not have a double-digit scorer in this one, as November Morton led the way with nine. Trine Drejer finished with a career-high seven. Gudlaug Juliusdottir had four rebounds to top the team in that category.
Eckerd (12-6, 7-4 SSC) won the rebounding battle easily, 38-18.
The Panthers (6-13, 2-9 SSC) made just 16 field goals all day, shooting 30.8 percent overall, and were 2-of-16 from three-point range, good for 12.5 percent. Add to that, the 5-of-10 from the free-throw line and that sums up the day for the visitors.
Things got off to a bad start for the Panthers, who managed just five points in the first quarter. Eckerd scored the first five points before Aniquah Swan hit a free throw for the Panthers. Eckerd kept the pressure on with a 10-0 run, putting FIT in a 15-1 hole.
Morton got the Panthers first field goal with 3:15 to go, but that was answered by an Eckerd three, extending the lead to 18-3. Juliusdottir got the Panthers only other basket of the quarter with 2:41 left on the clock. Florida Tech ended the period 2-of-12 from the field and had six turnovers, all contributing to a 22-5 deficit after 10 minutes.
The second quarter started well for the Panthers with a 6-0 run, but after that both teams struggled offensively, as Eckerd did not score for a stretch of 5:43 and the Panthers didn’t have a field goal in 5:23. Michaela Gelbaugh‘s layup with 31 seconds left finally broke the scoreless streak for the Panthers, who won the second quarter 10-9 and went to the locker room down, 31-15.
The Panthers made just 7-of-25 field goals in that first half and were 0-for-6 from three point range. by Swan’s five points. Juliusdottir scored four. The Tritons were 10-of-26 in the first half.
The third quarter was all Eckerd, as they held the Panthers to just eight total points in the stanza. Eckerd went on a 12-2 run over the final 6:31 of the quarter and had 25 points. They led 56-23 with 10 minutes remaining.
Drejer hit the first three of the day for the Panthers with 2:57 to go in the game. That made it a 66-32 game and Morton would knock down the second triple with 1:02 left. They helped the Panthers win the quarter 16-15, which was the only silver lining in this one.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Eckerd Box Score
The Panthers will now have a week off before hosting Barry on February 2nd. Tip is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the Clemente Center.