The Florida Tech Women’s hoops team opened their season in Tampa on Friday, losing to the No. 19 Bulldogs 84-48 in the opening game of the SSC/GSC Challenge.
“We got beat by a really good basketball team and we didn’t help ourselves,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “Good teams don’t beat themselves, they don’t turn it over, and they rebound. Union doesn’t make mistakes.”
Ashtyn Baker and Emily Beard each scored 17 points for Union, while the Panthers were led by Hannah Roney, who had 14 points. She was the only Panther to score in double figures.
Reynolds had high praise for Baker after this game, calling her the best guard in Division II. “She’s the best I’ve seen in 10 years.”
Florida Tech (0-1) led early Aiste Vaitekunaite got the Panthers first three-pointer of the season 1:02 into the game and the Panthers were up 3-2. Beard answered with a three and Roney would answer a bit later to cut the Bulldogs lead to 7-6.
Fanny Hakanson had a three later in the quarter to get the Panthers to within two, 12-10. She had two threes in the game and finished with six points. A three by Severine Uggen would get the Panthers back in the lead, 15-14 with 3:12 left in the quarter. She finished with nine points.
Roney would get another three with 35 seconds left to put Florida Tech up 22-21. Beard would close the quarter with a jumper, flipping things in Union’s favor 23-22 at the end of the quarter.
The Panthers offense abandoned them in the second quarter, as they were held to five points.
“We ran out of gas and our legs just weren’t there,” said Reynolds.
Union had a 19-2 run in the quarter and the Panthers were held without a field goal for 6:20 and were down 40-27 at halftime.
“We were rushing in that second quarter,” Reynolds said. “To stop a run you need to play better defense. I don’t think we communicated and didn’t execute a pick and roll.”
The struggles continued in the third quarter, as the Panthers were outscored 22-6. Union was helped by a 10-0 run in the quarter.
The fourth quarter was better for the Panthers as they were outscored 20-15.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Union Box Score (Tampa)
Florida Tech shot 22.8% for the game (13-for-57). They went 2-for-17 in the second quarter and 1-for-12 in the third quarter.
The challenge wraps up Saturday with the Panthers facing West Alabama at 1:30 p.m.