MELBOURNE, Fla. (men’s basketball) – The Florida Tech Panthers went down to the final whistle against the Tritons of Eckerd College only to fall short
58-56 in the Panthers home Sunshine State Conference opener.
Quick starts by both teams as Tech’s Arthur Richardson (Niceville, Fla.) started the scoring off with a high rising dunk off the tip off from Kelley to
Janko Mrksic (Stoney, Creek, Ontario) to Richardson with the Tritons Andre King-Holland (Palm Bay, Fla.) answering right back with a three pointer showed
that the two teams were heading into a long battle.
Tech and the Tritons went nose to nose with each other until the 12:06 mark of the half as the Tritons broke the tie to lead by two 15-13. Tech’s
Richardson again had an answer with his loan three pointer of the game to cut the lead to one 17-16. With just under 11 minutes to play in the half, the
Tritons closed out the half with an 11-8 run with the Panthers clawing at the heels of Eckerd College; 28-24.
The second half saw the Tritons marking the first points of the half off a lay-up by Marcus Washington (Manatee, Fla.) to push their lead to six at 30-24.
Just as the Tritons lead gapped to seven, Tech’s E.J. Murray (Rockledge, Fla.) returning to the lineup after missing the last four games due to injury hit
a deep three pointer to bring the lead to within two at 37-35.
Tech would inch closer after Carl McNally (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) hit one of two free throws to be behind 37-36 with 11:25 left in the half. Keeping their
composure, the Tritons kept a consistent lead as the Crimson and White kept fighting back.
As the crowd sensed that time might be running out on their team, they stepped up the noise as Tech’s McNally ran down the court flushing the ball through
the basket off the steal at mid-court keeping the game in range at 49-46.
With less than two minutes to play in the game, Tech’s Murray got fouled on a three point attempt letting him get to the line to shoot three. Staying
poised, Murray hit all three free-throws to mark the score at 54-51. Murray again scored with about a minute left in the half to trail by one 54-53. Coming
up huge for the Tritons was Marcus Washington who scored the go ahead bucket with 30 seconds left in the half.
After consecutive timeouts called my the Panthers coaching staff, Tech ran through their inbounds play finding Jod Kelley (McCormick, S.C.) wide open on
the wing who hit the game tying three pointer with 18 seconds left in the game.
With just enough time to get one good shot off before heading into overtime, the Tritons crisply ran their play and found Washington who scored the
essential game winning jump shot.
With less than one second left on the clock, the Panthers were looking for a miracle as they had to inbound the ball and go the length of the court for an
attempt at the basket. As time ran out the ball fell into the hands of a Tritons players with the curtains falling on the Panthers as they suffer their
first home loss on the season.
Panthers Jod Kelly was awarded ‘Carrabba’s Player of the Game’ after scoring in double digits with 10 points, grabbing a team high 6 rebounds, and
recording two steals on the night. Three other Panther players scored in double digits with Arthur Richardson scoring the team high of 11 points while Ryan
Ballard (Melbourne, Fla.) and E.J. Murray combined for 20 points; 10 points apiece. Tech as team shot 41.3% from the field and shot 35.3% from three point
range for the game.
Tech is now 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the SSC and will travel to Florida International University on Tuesday, December 5th to face the DI Golden Panthers with
tip-off set at 5pm. Listen live as the game will be broadcasted courtside by J.C. Meyerholz through the Stretch Internet link via the Panthers Athletic
Newspaper Box Score
Eckerd College vs Florida Tech
12/2/06 4:00 pm at Clemente Center
At Clemente Center
ECKERD COLLEGE 58, FLORIDA TECH 56
ECKERD COLLEGE (6-0, 1-0)
CENATUS, Matt 7-11 2-3 19; KING-HOLLAND, Andre 7-14 0-0 15; WASHINGTON,
Marcus 4-7 1-2 9; KING, Josh 1-2 0-0 3; RUDAKAS, Jason 1-2 0-2 3; HAZEL,
Craig 1-3 1-3 3; MOSS, Andre 1-1 0-0 3; HARPER, John 1-3 0-0 3; QUIRI,
Clayton 0-1 0-0 0; MORRIS, Damone 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-46 4-10 58.
FLORIDA TECH (2-4, 0-1)
RICHARDSON, Arthur 4-8 2-2 11; KELLEY, Jod 4-11 0-3 10; MURRAY, EJ 3-7 3-3
10; BALLARD, Ryan 2-2 4-6 10; McNALLY, Carl 3-5 1-2 7; MRKSIC, Janko 2-4 1-2
5; CLARK, Damien 1-3 0-0 2; SEDLAK, Justin 0-6 1-2 1. Totals 19-46 12-20 56.
Eckerd College……………. 28 30 – 58
Florida Tech……………… 24 32 – 56
3-point goals–Eckerd College 8-12 (CENATUS, Matt 3-4; KING-HOLLAND, Andre
1-1; RUDAKAS, Jason 1-1; KING, Josh 1-2; HARPER, John 1-2; MOSS, Andre 1-1;
MORRIS, Damone 0-1), Florida Tech 6-17 (BALLARD, Ryan 2-2; KELLEY, Jod 2-3;
MURRAY, EJ 1-5; RICHARDSON, Arthur 1-5; SEDLAK, Justin 0-2). Fouled
out–Eckerd College-None, Florida Tech-None. Rebounds–Eckerd College 31
(KING-HOLLAND, Andre 6), Florida Tech 24 (KELLEY, Jod 6). Assists–Eckerd
College 9 (KING-HOLLAND, Andre 6), Florida Tech 6 (McNALLY, Carl 3). Total
fouls–Eckerd College 16, Florida Tech 17. Technical fouls–Eckerd
College-None, Florida Tech-None. A-680
Asst. Sports Information Director