In one of the uglier games Florida Tech has been a part of, the Nova Southeastern Sharks had seven players in double figures on Saturday, leading to a 102-56 victory at Rick Case Arena.
Jake Maranville led the Sharks balanced scoring attack with 18 points, including 6-of-7 from three-point range. Eddie Puisus and Connor Zinaich had 14 apiece. Shane Hunter had 11, and Nick Smith and Mark Matthews had 10 each. Carl Alenfall led the home team with 11 assists.
Derek Murphy led the Panthers with 22 points. He was 9-for-25 from the field, but bounced back nicely in the second half, after starting 3-of-12. Jalen Hodges was the only other Panther in double figures, going for 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Antonis Pefanis was good for nine points, finishing 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Nova (11-2, 5-2 SSC) was 38-of-66 overall, shooting 57.6 percent. They shot 60 percent (18-for-30) in the second half alone.
Florida Tech (8-8, 2-6 SSC) 21-of-64 from the floor 32.8 percent. They were 4-for-21 from deep. On the other side, NSU drained 18 of their 36 three-point attempts. Florida Tech did do well from the charity stripe, hitting 10-of-14. The Sharks won the rebounding battle 43-34.
The first portion of this game was close, with Florida Tech leading 4-3, 8-5, and 11-7 after a Valur Valsson three-ball. Valsson would drop another three to put the Panthers up 16-13 with 13:42 to go. A dunk by Hodges with 13:04 left gave Florida Tech an 18-17 lead. Then the wheels fell off.
NSU went on a 25-4 run and led 42-22. The Panthers would manage just two more points in the half, as they were down 47-24 at the break. The Panthers scored just four points in the last 12:47 of the first half.
Things didn’t go any better in the second half for the Panthers, as they scored eight more points than they did in the first half but gave up eight more as well. The Sharks defense was suffocating throughout, although Murphy did have his sixth 20-point performance of the season with a 16-point half.
Florida Tech turned the ball over 18 times, and the Sharks took advantage, outscoring Tech 22-2. The Panthers had eight players off the bench see action and they were outscored 52-5 by the NSU reserves.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Nova Southeastern Box Score
The Panthers will look to put this one behind them in a hurry. They will be back at the Clemente Center on Wednesday night taking on Tampa. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.