MELBOURNE, Fla. (men’s basketball) – Defeating Florida Southern 56-52 the Panthers have now put together a mini winning streak for the second time
this year. The first mini streak came in December when the Men defeated Waldorf College and Palm Beach Atlantic. The win over the Mocs marks the first time
the men and women basketball teams have won in consecutive games; in the first game, the Women dominated Florida Southern 84-57 while the Men quietly
prowled past the Mocs 56-52.
Like most games, E.J. Murray (Rockledge, Fla.) started the scoring for the game and the Panthers. The Mocs couldn’t answer back as they
couldn’t hit a bucket until the 15:17 mark to keep the game close at 4-2. In the first ten minutes of play, neither team broke into
the double digits until Carl McNally (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) drained his lone three pointer of the game to regain the lead at 10-9. Florida Southern wouldn’t
break into double digits for another minute but was still trailing by two with eight minutes to play.
Scoring wasn’t much of a factor in the first half as the half closed with a 21-18 Florida Tech lead. What was a big aspect for the Panthers was their
defense which caused 14 Moccasin turnovers while stealing the ball 6 times as a team. Both teams combined for a total of 53 shots but only combined to hit
15 of them. By intermission Tech was shooting 25.9% from the field while Florida Southern was shooting 30.8% but Tech was leading the way at the half;
The crimson and grey not having to play from behind came out of intermission with relaxed nerves as the second half got underway. The second half also
opened up the scoring as both teams within the first five combined for 7 made buckets as the crimson and grey held a slim lead at 31-27. As the Panthers
defended their territory, the Mocs were stingy. With 9:57 left to play, Florida Southern started what ended up being a 20-11 run that got them within one
53-52 with less than a minute left to play.
Staying poised and confident, the Panthers Sean Zeller (Merritt Island, Fla.) entered the game to knock down clutch free throws late in game with his
number being called with less than 30 seconds left to play in regulation. Zeller hit both his opportunities which put the Panthers up by three 55-52. After
a Florida Southern missed three pointer, McNally was fouled after grabbing the missed shot. Needing to hit at least one of the free throws, Carl nailed the
first but missed the second with only seconds left in regulation. Carl who has been slowly returning back to normal after his injury made the game a two
possession game and a locked in the win against the Moccasins.
Getting back to his normal ways, Carl McNally led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points at the offensive end and defensively had 3 steals on the night.
E.J. Murray who had excellent control of the ball against the Mocs scored 10 points a little below his season average but also grabbed 8 rebounds on the
night. Solid contributions on the night came from Justin Sedlak (Pezinik, Slovakia) who had 9 points while grabbing 8 boards and Jod Kelley (McCormick,
S.C) who totaled 7 points, 9 boards, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.
In the end, the Panthers sneak by the Mocs to go on a mini winning streak as they defeat two conference teams back to back as they earn their third SSC win
of the year. Now at 7-16 overall and 3-8 in the SSC, the Panthers are right where they need to be, finishing games they should finish while competing in
games that could turn in their favor. As the late season rolls near, Florida Tech travels to St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, February 7th, to seek
revenge against Eckerd College with a tip time approx 7:30 pm.
Newspaper Box Score
Florida Southern vs Florida Tech
02/03/07 4:00 pm at Melbourne, Fla. (Clemente Center)
At Melbourne, Fla. (Clemente Center)
FLORIDA TECH 56, FLORIDA SOUTHERN 52
FLORIDA SOUTHERN (6-15, 2-9)
GRAHAM, Will 5-12 0-1 13; GRANT, Andrei 4-8 4-5 12; WILLIAMS, Braxton 3-9
0-0 7; ELDRIDGE, Rob 3-11 0-0 6; HULL, Garrett 2-7 1-2 5; McDONALD, Brandon
1-3 0-0 3; GIROD, Dominic 1-4 0-0 2; WOOTEN, Cameron 1-7 0-0 2; ABREU,
Arnaldo 1-1 0-2 2. Totals 21-62 5-10 52.
FLORIDA TECH (7-16, 3-8)
McNALLY, Carl 3-5 5-9 12; MURRAY, EJ 4-15 2-3 10; SEDLAK, Justin 3-16 3-6 9;
RICHARDSON, Arthur 3-5 2-3 8; KELLEY, Jod 1-3 5-6 7; MRKSIC, Janko 3-5 0-0
6; PAROTTE, Edmond 1-1 0-0 2; ZELLER, Sean 0-0 2-2 2; CLARK, Damien 0-2 0-0
0; WOODSON, Donovan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-53 19-29 56.
Florida Southern………….. 18 34 – 52
Florida Tech……………… 21 35 – 56
3-point goals–Florida Southern 5-22 (GRAHAM, Will 3-6; WILLIAMS, Braxton
1-6; McDONALD, Brandon 1-3; HULL, Garrett 0-1; WOOTEN, Cameron 0-4;
ELDRIDGE, Rob 0-2), Florida Tech 1-12 (McNALLY, Carl 1-3; MURRAY, EJ 0-2;
SEDLAK, Justin 0-4; RICHARDSON, Arthur 0-1; KELLEY, Jod 0-1; WOODSON,
Donovan 0-1). Fouled out–Florida Southern-None, Florida Tech-None.
Rebounds–Florida Southern 44 (GRAHAM, Will 13), Florida Tech 43 (KELLEY,
Jod 9). Assists–Florida Southern 14 (ELDRIDGE, Rob 5), Florida Tech 3
(McNALLY, Carl 1; WOODSON, Donovan 1; MURRAY, EJ 1). Total fouls–Florida
Southern 20, Florida Tech 16. Technical fouls–Florida Southern-None,
Florida Tech-None. A-679