Panthers Send the Suns to Set
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Basketball) – The Florida Tech Panthers sent the Suns of Florida
Christian College home with a loss on Thursday night as the Panthers improve to 6-0 on the season with the 121-61 win. “We’ve done everything we’re
supposed to do,” said Head Coach Billy Mims. “We’re 6-0 and we’ve met
every challenge so far. It feels like we’ve progressed throughout the season.” FloridaChristianCollege opened up the game with four straight
three-pointers to gain a 12-10 edge. After that, the Panthers were ignited with a no look assist from senior point guard E.J. Murray, who had five assists on the
night,to sophomore forward Justin Sedlak for
the finish. Those points helped Sedlak on his way to another double-double for him on the season. He led the team with 22 points Thursday night. In
the next possession Murray took the ball in for a lay-up and a foul. Thanks to Murray’s three-point play, the Panthers gained their first lead of the game
at 15-14. Florida Tech followed it up with strong defensive play to force a shot clock violation. With eight minutes to play in the first half
freshman center Paul
Sturgess corralled a rebound and threw it down for a dunk to push the score to 38-25. He had eight points in 16 minutes, the most he’s played
this season. He helped the Panthers force three shot clock violations as the Suns struggled to find a way to shoot over him. But he didn’t just do it on
defense Thursday night. The crowd roared when Sturgess threw a no-look pass to freshman center Jake Jones who finished and was fouled.
The crowd was a factor all night long. The assist by Sturgess was only one instance when the crowd went wild. The Panthers gave plenty of blocks and
dunks on the night to get the crowd going. “It was a great college basketball atmosphere at the ClementeCenter tonight,” said Billy Mims. The
Panthers made sure to finish the first half strong. Freshman forward Tom Leonard hit a tough lay-up with 5.4 seconds left. He made it even though he was
fouled. The next possession for the Suns, junior guard Ryan Ballard stole the ball and hit a
buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Panthers a 20-point lead at the half, 53-33. With 16:30 left in the game, senior forward Jod Kelly made a big block and pushed
the ball up to senior forward Arthur
Richardson,who finished the fast break with a nifty lay-up to push the score to 66-38. The Panthers continued their smuggling defense when
they forced another shot clock violation with 14:46 left in the second half. Later, Murray continued to display his playmaking abilities when he
dribbled the ball the length of the floor on a fast break only to pass the ball over his head to senior guard Carl McNally for the easy lay-up.
However, playmaking isn’t all Murray can do. He followed the fast break with a clean shot from deep to put the Panthers up 83-44 with 10:24 left to play.
With the game no longer in doubt, the Panthers rattled off eight consecutive points to make it 111-50 with less than three minutes to play.
Florida Tech will see the team’s next action at Miami Shores, Fla. on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they face the Buccaneers of Barry University.