Header photo: Lina Stranger-Johannessen – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
On Saturday, the Florida Tech women’s basketball team dropped their sixth game in a row, losing to the Nova Southeastern Sharks 75-63 in Fort Lauderdale.
“We played our best fourth quarter of the year. It was just too little too late,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds by phone after the game. “It doesn’t matter unless they start to realize it’s a 40-minute game.”
The Panthers (1-8, 0-4 SSC) struggled from the field in this one, shooting 38.3 percent from the field (23-of-60). They were 9-for-26 from long distance (34.6 percent). Lina Stranger-Johannessen was the Panthers leading scorer with 14 points. She made good on three shots from long range in the first half, going 3-for-4. She finished 5-for-10 from the field.
Stranger-Johannessen hit a three with 6:27 left in the second quarter and then hit consecutive threes with 4:37 left to cut the Sharks lead to 23-20.
“Lina got us back into the game with that little run,” said Reynolds. “You can do that, but you have to get stops on the other end and there are no excuses, we didn’t defend well.”
Hannah Roney was the only other Panther in double figures going 3-for-6 from the field, including 2-for-4 from behind the arc. Severine Uggen was good for eight points, and Fanny Hakanson had seven points to go along with five assists.
NSU (6-4, 2-2 SSC) shot 50 percent from the floor, going 27-for-54. They were 4-for-17 from behind the three-point line (23.5 percent) but hit 17 of their 19 free throws, an 89.5 percent clip.
“They shot 50 percent,” said Reynolds. “If we aren’t going to challenge shooters we aren’t going to win.”
Makenna Drabick and McKenah Peters both finished with 13 points. Peters added eight rebounds. Kyarrah Grant had 12 points and Grace Gilmore had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Florida Tech led 9-7 after a three by Uggen with 5:28 to go in the first quarter. That would be the last points the Panthers would score as they watched NSU go on a 10-0 run to end the first stanza with a 17-9 lead.
That run by Stranger-Johannessen got the Panthers back in it in the second quarter and a three by Hakanson made it 26-23 NSU. An Irene Vicente free throw made it a one-point game but the Sharks ended the quarter on a 6-0 run and led 32-25. The Panthers were shut out in the final 2:45 of the quarter.
The Panthers hit three free throws to start the third, cutting the deficit to 32-28. NSU took control from there, getting the lead up to 17, 53-36 by the end of the quarter.
A 9-0 run that included a three by Aayana Nedd and consecutive baskets from Stranger-Johannessen got the Panthers to within seven, 58-51 with 5:07 left. That was a stretch that included five NSU turnovers.
That was as close as the Panthers would get, as they were doomed by another scoring drought that stretched about three and a half minutes.
“Nedd gave us some good minutes and made the most of her opportunities,” said Reynolds. “She’s worked hard in practice the last couple of days and it showed today.”
For more info: Florida Tech @ NSU Box Score
The Panthers were outrebounded 40-27 in this one. “They were aggressive and they played well,” said Reynolds of NSU. “Give them credit.”
The team does not play again until December 19, when they welcome in Webber International for a rare Sunday tilt at the Clemente Center. The game tips at noon.