Panthers Remain Unbeaten

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Women’s Basketball) – The Florida Tech Panthers were challenged by a
strong team in the Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Janes. Nevertheless, the Panthers pulled it together to give their home crowd an 82-69 win to push their record to
2-0.   Puerto Rico-Mayagüez led the game by 13 points with less than 10 minutes left in the first half. That didn’t stop the Panthers though. Florida
Tech began to turn it around, and they did it with inspired defensive play embodied by a devastating block by freshman guard Ashley
 who also managed to haul in seven rebounds, tied with junior guard Kristin Heminger as high
rebounders on the night.   Shortly after that, junior guard Amanda Deveaux hit two consecutive
three-pointers to close the gap to 25-28. Sophomore forward Lindsay Greene and senior forward
Kassie Crimi made two
free throws to bring the Panthers within one. After a Mayagüez free throw, Florida Tech battled in the lane for a loose ball. Williams came up with it and
hit a lay-up in traffic to tie the game at 29-29. After that, Deveaux made a shot just inside the three-point line to put the Panthers ahead, 31-29 and
help her on her way to a 12-point night.   The hard work wasn’t enough to keep a Florida Tech lead in the first half. Thanks to a deep three-point
buzzer beater by sophomore guard Zuleymarie Sánchez, three of her 17 first half points, the Janes took a 36-32 lead into the break.   Heminger
continued her great start to the season with a three-pointer and a tough lay-up in the lane to get the Panthers going in the second half. She continued on
her way to a 23 point night. Consecutive three pointers by freshman guards Amanda Allen and Lynisha Nelson pulled Florida Tech
within one and forced a timeout from Mayagüez Head Coach Eduardo Brinn.   After two technical fouls on Florida Tech, Deveaux hit another trey and
Crimi made a monstrous block to keep the Panthers in the game. The defense forced a turnover after Crimi’s block.   Nelson came into the game at the
10-minute mark and quickly passed a beautiful assist to senior forward Casselle Russell, just one of Nelson’s nine assists on
the night to add to her 14 points. Shortly after, she hit a deep three-pointer as the shot clock expired and then followed that up with a drive for a
lay-up in the lane.   The Panthers continued with their stifling defense, forcing a shot clock violation and a horrible shot by Sánchez, the Mayagüez
star. Florida Tech followed that up with another drive from Nelson, who was fouled on the made shot. She made the free throw to tie the game at 62 with
5:46 left to play. Shortly after, junior forward Sabrina Jones made a lay-up to take the
lead. She then made three free throws to give the Panthers a four point lead, 69-65.   The Panthers pulled away at the end with a combination of
tenacious defense, made free throws and calm under pressure to push the score to 82-71.  


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