Header pic: Fanny Paulin – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
The Florida Tech women’s hoops team dropped their second straight game on Wednesday, losing to No. 23 University of the Sciences Devils 72-64 at the Clemente Center.
“I thought part of it is we just get out-toughed,” said Panthers head coach John Reynolds, by phone after the game. “We don’t have the same mentality on the defensive end as we do on the offensive end. If a ball comes to us we can rebound, but if it hits the floor we get beat to every ball.”
The Panthers were outrebounded 30-26 in this game, but to Reynolds point, his team had chances to expand leads in the first half and they had five turnovers in the first quarter and added one right off the bat in the second quarter. Tech would turn the ball over 20 times in this game.
“We hurt ourselves,” Reynolds said. “A lot of those turnovers were unforced.”
Fanny Paulin was the Panthers leading scorer with 24 points, shooting 9-for-15 from the field, including 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. Severine Uggen contributed eight points. Aiste Vaitekunaite finished with seven points and six rebounds, while Fanny Hakanson had six points and seven assists.
Reynolds said last week that if games were only 10 minutes long, the Panthers would be undefeated. That was the case again in this one with Tech shooting 66.7 percent (8-for-12) from the field, including five out of six three-pointers.
“After the first 10 minutes, I have been nothing but concerned,” said Reynolds. “We are just playing soft right now.”
University of the Sciences hit an early three and then watched the Panthers go on an 8-0 run, with Vaitekunaite scoring five straight and Paulin hitting a three.
Hakanson and Paulin hit back-to-back threes with 3:58 left in the quarter and led 16-9. Another three by Hakanson would put them up by 10. The Devils then outscored the Panthers 8-2 before Lina Stranger Johannessen hit two free throws to extend the lead to 23-17.
Both teams were cold to start the second quarter, with the first basket coming from Irene Vicente 3:31 in. A Paulin jumper gave the Panthers a 10-point lead and she drained another three with 5:58 to go.
University of the Sciences would not score their first points until there was 4:14 left in the quarter. They would go on a 6-0 run, making it 32-25 with 2:36 to go.
Jess Huber would score the final five points including a layup at the buzzer, cutting the Panthers lead to 34-30 at the half. Huber finished with a game-high 27 points, including a 5-for-10 showing from three-point range.
Cheyenne Scott hit a three 1:57 into the third to make it 37-33. Huber’s three with 6:24 to go gave the Devils a 38-37 lead. The teams went back-and-forth from there, with the Devils leading 46-43 at the end of the quarter.
Florida Tech got the game back to one, 48-47, but the Devils reeled off five straight and it was 53-47. A three by Stranger-Johannessen made it 56-52 with 5:15 left. A three at the other end by Huber made it 59-52 and the Devils would close it out from the free-throw line. They hit five of their last seven shots.
“We didn’t rebound, and we didn’t box out,” said Reynolds. You’ve gotta prove yourself and we are 1-4 with this lineup, now there have to be changes. Everybody wants a full scholarship, nobody wants to be a complete player.”
For more info: University of the Sciences @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Devils’ were 22-for-49 (44.9 percent from the field. They were 12-for-30 (40 percent from the three-point range.
Reynolds said the Panthers didn’t take enough shots. They were 21-for-51 from the field, (41.2 percent). After the hot start from beyond the arc in the first quarter, they went 5-for-11 the rest of the way, finishing 10-for-30.
The Panthers will travel to Flagler on Saturday, for a 2:00 p.m. game. Florida Tech won 82-73 in the home opener last Tuesday.