After earning an impressive win on Friday night, the Florida Tech Panthers ran into a much different Florida Southern team on Sunday, as the home team ran away with a 74-43 victory at Jenkins Fieldhouse.
“We got outcoached and outplayed and we took our opponent lightly tonight,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “On Friday we didn’t play well for three quarters and had a good fourth quarter.” That hurt us today because we thought we were gonna just turn it on and we never did.”
Mackenzie Steele led the way for Florida Southern scoring a career-high 27 points, including hitting seven of her eight three-point attempts. The Moccasins were 12-of-23 from behind the arc in the contest.
“Give her credit,” said Reynolds. “She had a career game. She was seven for eight on threes and they were step-back and off the screen threes, they weren’t set your feet and shoot.”
The Panthers (1-1) struggled to find a rhythm in this game, shooting 29.3 percent from the field (17-of-58) and hitting just five of the 27 threes they attempted, with the final one coming at the buzzer from Lina Stranger-Johannessen. Florida Tech was also hurt by 28 turnovers. The Mocs’ had 24 of their own, but Florida Tech failed to take advantage of them.
“We had 28 turnovers and they got 27 points,” said Reynolds. “They had 24 turnovers and we got eight points. It was a lack of aggressiveness and focus.”
Fanny Paulin was the only Panther in double figures on Sunday, scoring 15 points. Zoe Murphy added seven.
The Panthers led for all of 14 seconds in this game, earning an 8-7 advantage after an Irene Vicente layup with 4:09 left in the first quarter. Back-to-back threes sparked a double-digit run before Murphy’s three made it 18-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Florida Southern go on a 9-0 run and outscore the Panthers 12-7. Paulin scored all seven of the Panthers points in the quarter, but they trailed 30-20 at the break.
“Fanny had a good game for us, she shot the ball well and played with confidence.” The thing is we have too many offensive weapons to put up 43 points. I just don’t think we were focused as a group tonight.”
Florida Southern (1-1) opened things up in the third quarter led by Steele who had 13 points in that quarter alone, including hitting three behind the arc. The Mocs’ kept the pedal to the metal in the fourth, outsourcing the Panthers 21-11.
Steele hit back-to-back three-pointers with 2:25 left, helping her squad to an 11-5 run to end the game.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Florida Southern Box Score
Florida Tech is next scheduled to travel to Barry on Wednesday, February 10. The scheduled tip time is 6:00 p.m.
“We gotta make some corrections in two days,” Reynolds said. “We are going to be playing a tough Barry team and we have a lot of work to do.”
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