The sixth-ranked Florida Southern Moccasins showed why they are the number one team in the Sunshine State Conference on Saturday, beating the Florida Tech Panthers 112-82 at Jenkins Field House. It is the ninth consecutive loss on the road for the Panthers.
Sesan Russell was the Panthers leading scorer, going for 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting. He made six of his 10 three-point attempts and pulled down three rebounds. Derek Murphy was held in check for the most part but did come away with a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
Trey Schaneville came off the bench and gave the Panthers 11 points. He was good from long range again in this one, hitting three of his five attempts. The original box score below had Trey with nine points, but he hit a layup with 5:09 left in the game that was credited to the wrong player.
The Panthers (10-13, 4-11 SSC) were 31-of-80 from the field (38.8 percent). Of those 80 shots, Russell and Murphy took 48, converting 17 of them.
Florida Southern 21-2, 13-2 SSC) had six guys in double figures, led by Jack Rauch’s 29. They were 44-of-74 overall from the field, including 14-for-30 from long distance. The Moccasins won the rebounding battle 45-39 and had a decided advantage in fast-break points, 28-2.
As lopsided as this game ended up, the Panthers held their own in the early going. After going down 7-2, the Panthers fought back to tie things at nine, thanks to a three from Russell. Rauch led an FSC run with two three balls, giving his team a 17-11 lead.
Runako Ziegler answered with a three for the Panthers making it 17-14 and the teams traded baskets until another three by Russell with 11:50 to go in the half, knotted things up at 19. The see-saw continued from there before Russell put the Panthers up 26-25 with 8:23 left, thanks to another three.
Brett Hanson answered that immediately, and a steal led to a bug dunk by Jaylin Hinton, closing a 7-0 Mocs’ run. Russell’s layup got the Panthers back within one, 32-31 with 6:30 to go in the half.
The two teams traded blows again with a three by Murphy tying things up at 41. Another Hinton dunk highlighted a six-point burst by the Mocs, who led 47-41 with 2:15 left. The Mocs would go-ahead 55-44 before the horn.
Florida Southern took control for good early in the second half. They shot 61.11 percent in the final 20, making 22-of-36 shots. That includes 50 percent from beyond the arc, shooting 7-for-14.
Three three-pointers in the first 4:04 made it a 70-55 game. The Panthers went quiet for over two minutes before a three from Schaneville made it 81-65. The Panthers would not score again until Trey hit again from deep with 7:08 to go. It was 83-68 at that point.
Schaneville would hit again with 3:58 left, making it 96-73. FSC was not fazed, as they rolled to the 30-point victory.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Florida Southern Box Score
The Panthers road trip continues Wednesday with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff at Eckerd College.