Zoe Murphy – Photo credit: Florida Tech Athletics
The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish outscored Florida Tech 48-26 in the first half Tuesday night, en route to a 73-50 victory over Florida Tech in the Women’s Basketball Sunshine State Conference Quarterfinals. The loss ends the 2021 season for the Panthers.
Florida Tech shot 24.3 percent from the floor, going 18-for-74. The Sailfish struggled as well, going 24-for-71 (33.8 percent). The difference in this game was the three-point shot. The Panthers made just three of their 23 attempts (13 percent), while PBA went 11-for-27 (40.7 percent).
“It should hurt and we should be disappointed in our effort,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “We shot poorly, and we shot threes like we have never made one.”
Zoe Murphy was the Panthers leading scorer with 16 points. She was 5-for-17 from the field, hitting two three-pointers. She was 4-for-5 from three-point territory and added seven rebounds. Fanny Paulin added 11 points and three steals.
Fanny Hakanson led the Panthers with five assists, while Irene Vicente came up with six rebounds and four blocks.
PBA was led by Shekinah Guthrie who had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Sia Williams had 13 points and Alisa Marlow added 11. The Sailfish outrebounded Florida Tech 66-44.
The first four Panthers points came on free-throws, three from Murphy. By then the Panthers were already down 17-4 with 3:12 left in the first quarter. They would outscore the home team 7-4 in those final few minutes, closing the gap to 21-11 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw PBA go on a 9-1 run and extend their lead to 30-12. A three-point play by Murphy with 5:30 to go in the half made it 35-19. After PBA got a three, Murphy would answer with one of her own. That made it 38-22. Unfortunately, the Panthers would score just four points in the final 4:22 of the half and go to the locker room down 48-26.
The third quarter wasn’t good for either side as PBA outscored Florida Tech 12-9. That gave the Sailfish a 60-35 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Panthers got off to a good start in the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run. The first Palm Beach Atlantic points of the quarter came with 6:06 remaining. After Paulin’s three-pointer with 5:16 left made it 65-45, the teams went cold again before Kennedi Rogers hit a three with 3:08 to go.
Paulin’s Layup with 3:01 left made it 68-47. A three by Murphy with 1:12 to go was the Panthers’ final basket of the night. Taylor Race answered that with 28 seconds to go, concluding the scoring.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Palm Beach Atlantic Box Score
When asked to reflect on the season, Reynolds said that he was glad to get through it without an injury. He also reflected on the difficulties of a season played in a pandemic.
“As disappointed as we can be, I have to appreciate that they hung in there,” he said. “They practiced every day that we could and our athletes have done a great job staying committed. We never gave up and never gave in to a virus that crippled the nation.”
Thank you to coach Reynolds who made himself available by phone after every game, home or away, win or lose. He helped our coverage immensely this season and it is much appreciated.