Panthers Hold Off NSU’s late Rally

The Florida Tech women’s basketball team got a crucial Sunshine State Conference win on Saturday, beating the Nova Southeastern Sharks 62-59 at the Clemente Center.

The Panthers (13-14, 9-10 SSC) had to withstand a furious rally by the Sharks, as Florida Tech went cold from the field in the final minutes. The Panthers did not cash in a field goal in the final 5:46 of the game, getting two Fanny Hakanson free throws with 10.5 seconds left, and a steal by Gudlaug Juliusdottir as the clock ran out.

Jordan Tully was the only player in double figures for the Sharks, finishing with 25 points and eight rebounds. Hailey Conley also had eight rebounds.

Amanda Allen and November Morton both finished with 14 points, and Juliusdottir had 13 accounting for the bulk of the Panthers scoring. Morton also had six rebounds, tying Severine Uggen for the team lead in that category. Cheyenne Scott finished with five boards. Hakanson, Juliusdottir, and Morton all had three assists.

The Panthers shot 36.8 percent from the field, finishing 21-of-57. They were just 6-for-22 from three-point range. The Panthers’ best shooting quarter was the third when they went 7-for-15 (46.67 percent) and their worst was the fourth when they went just 2-for-9 from the field (22.2 percent). They did go 5-for-6 from the free-throw line (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe in that quarter, finishing off a 14-for-16 (87.5 percent) day overall.

Florida Tech was outrebounded 38-33 and gave up 19 points off turnovers to NSU’s 14. The Sharks struggled shooting the ball in the first half, going 3-for-12, and 3-for-13 in the first and second quarters.

The game was tied at nine and 11 early before an Uggen layup and a Morton three made it 16-11. The Panthers were up 16-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The Sharks (12-13, 8-10) managed just seven points in the third quarter. Allen and Juliusdottir led the Panthers charge as they scored 17 and went to the locker room with a 33-20 lead.

A three by Uggen got the Panthers started in the third quarter and she followed that up with a three-point play after getting fouled on a layup, giving the Panthers a 41-24 lead. An 11-0 run by the Sharks later in the quarter made it 47-40 with 2:50 to go. Fanny Paulin’s layup moments later, stopped the spurt.

Morton would hit a three with 58 seconds left, giving the Panthers a 52-42 lead. They would end the quarter up 52-44.

It took 1:58 for either team to score in the fourth. A three by Clara Prasse cut the lead to 52-47. Another bucket by NSU cut the lead to three, but Morton came up big, hitting a jumper and a three on consecutive Panthers’ possessions, upping the lead to 57-49 with 5:46 left. That would be the final shot the Panthers would hit from the field in this one.

A three-point play by Jordan got NSU to within five, before Paulin hit two free-throws, upping the lead to 59-52. A free-throw by Morton made it 60-54, before Jennifer Garcia hot a three for the Sharks, cutting the deficit to three. Tully would make a layup to get to 60-59 before Hakanson was fouled with 10.5 left and hit both free throws to seal the game.

For more info: Nova Southeastern @ Florida Tech Box Score

With the win, the Panthers still have a chance to host a playoff game. They will celebrate Senior Night on Wednesday, in the season finale against Rollins College. That game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. at the Clemente Center.