The Florida Tech Panthers were beaten handily, 78-62 by Pittsburg State on Friday in day two of the Florida Tech Winter Classic at the Clemente Center.
The Panthers (6-6) got a game-high 21 points from Aniquah Swan, who also pulled down eight rebounds. Fanny Hakanson chipped in with 10 points and four assists.
The Panthers were outrebounded 20-11 in the first half but came back in the second half and got 27.
“The way we rebounded the ball in the first half we should’ve bought a ticket,” Reynolds said. “Because if you’re gonna be a spectator you should sit in the stands, and we had a lot of spectators.”
The first half was an ugly one for the Panthers, as they scored 11 points in the first quarter and nine in the second quarter. That’s after a five-point second quarter on Thursday against William Jewell.
Florida Tech was 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) from the field in the first half, while Pittsburg State was 15-of-30 (50 percent).
The Gorillas jumped out to an early lead thanks to three three-point baskets. They led 9-3 with 7”42 left in the quarter. The only basket for Florida Tech came when Hakanson laid it in and was fouled. The Panthers made it 13-9 halfway through the quarter, but Pittsburg State went on a 10-2 run to end the quarter and led 23-11.
Florida Tech didn’t get their first point of the second quarter until there was 5:07 to go, and that was on a November Morton free throw. At that point, it was 30-12.
With the score 35-16 in favor of the Gorillas, Reynolds questioned the official on whether it should be Florida Tech’s ball. He was in no way loud, in no way rude, and yet the official put up one finger as a warning and the next word out of Reynold’s mouth got him a technical foul. It was a very quick trigger from an official that started the game with two very questionable calls that had Panther fans shaking their heads.
Florida Tech would manage just 20 points in the first half and went to the locker room down 42-20.
The Panthers scored the first five points in the third quarter, but Pittsburg State got the lead back to 22 with 3:21 to go after a Tristan Gregg three. Amanda Allen answered moments later with the first Florida Tech three of the contest. That made it 51-32 with 2:33 to go. The Gorillas would get that three back on their next trip down the floor.
With 2:01 to go in the quarter, there was a call made that Reynolds was not fond of. He didn’t say much and didn’t have to. He was given a second technical foul from a different official, and his day was done.
Cheyenne Scott scored with 55 seconds left to make it a 56-38 game, heading into the fourth quarter. That helped the Panthers win the third quarter 18-14.
In the fourth quarter, the Panthers continued to build on the positives from the previous quarter. They were rebounding better and getting into positions where fouls were being called against Pittsburg State.
With 4:28 left in the game, the Panthers were down 25, 72-47. Fanny Paulin and Amanda Allen hit back-to-back three’s, making it 72-53. Free throws would cut it to 15 with 2:15 to go, and a three by Hakanson with 1:21 to go, cut the deficit to 14, 76-62. Hakanson’s three was the third of the quarter.
“We scored 42 points in the second half,” said Reynolds. “I don’t think we were that much better in the second half, but then again, I didn’t get to see most of it.”
For more info: Pittsburg State @ Florida Tech
The Panthers are off for Christmas break until Thursday, January 2. They will be back at the Clemente Center to host Sunshine State Conference foe Florida Southern at 5:30 p.m.