SAINT LEO, Fla.-The #3 seeded Florida Tech Panthers (16-12) end their season on a low note, bowing out of the tournament early losing to the #6 seed Barry
University (10-18) 57-40 in the first round of the 2006 Sunshine State Conference Basketball Tournament hosted by Saint Leo at the Marion Bowman Center in
Saint Leo, Florida. This upset proves to be only the fourth time a number six seeded team has beaten a number three seeded team in the 25 year history of
the SSC women’s basketball tournament. Interestingly, Barry has made an appearance in three out of the four of the upsets involving the #3 vs. the #6, two
on the winning end and once on the losing side.
Tech’s loss is the first time in five years that the Panthers have not made it to at least the semi-finals. The last time the women lost early was in the
1999-2000 season when #4 Florida Southern knocked the #5 Florida Tech out 89-68. The Panthers overall tournament record is now 22-15 (.594) for their 19
years of playing with four overall championship titles and five second place finishes ranking third in wins amongst eleven teams including the nine current
SSC members and two former members.
Head Coach John Reynolds stated, “If you don’t bring you ‘A’ game to this tournament you’re not going to get far.”
Sophomore Tenisha Chase (Temple Hills, Maryland) led her team with 12 points. Junior Second Team All SSC member Danielle Vaughn (Tallahassee, Florida) who
was injured at the start of the second half and was unable to return to the contest scored seven and added four rebounds. Fellow junior Danise Fequiere
(Miami, Florida) led under the boards with ten rebounds.
Barry’s All SSC freshman team member Princess Bailey (Miami, Florida) was the leading scorer with 22 points added five boards, two assists, two steals and
one block. Bailey was unstoppable by Tech tonight and defiantly was the reason Barry, after two regular season blow-outs by Tech, turned the tables for the
Bucs. All SSC member sophomore Sandra Jansson (Sodertaljie, Sweden) chipped in ten points hitting two from the arc, while junior Alex Fernander (Miami,
Florida) was the high rebounder with 11 boards.
“We didn’t have an answer for Princess Bailey,” stated Reynolds. “When your shooting percentage is below thirty percent you aren’t going to win the game.”
Despite out rebounding Barry, Tech’s hustle was just not apparent today. Tech who has been known for their great defense lost the game by letting Barry
drive the lane and score. The women who usually get a scoring spark by their leading score Vaughn early in the second half was lost on the offense shooting
only 27.0% for the game while the Bucs shot 40.0% from the field.
Tech’s only senior Lourdes Diaz (Miami, Florida) finished her two-year career with 133 points, 89 rebounds, 15 steals, 11 blocks and .490 field goal
“I’m going to miss Coach Reynolds and all my teammates, but I will come back next year and cheer on all the seniors and the team,” stated Diaz. “Everyday
was a highlight memory with coach and all the practices and games and trips will be remembered because coach made it fun and he was a clown.”