MELBOURNE, FL- The Florida Tech Panthers easily tamed the visiting Johnson and Whales Wildcats today with awesome shooting, winning 94-68. Tech shot over
60% from the field (34-55), over 55% from behind the ark (15-27) and nearly perfect from the free-throw line (11-12). Tech was led by senior guard Ryan
Maultsby (Vero Beach, FL) and sophomore guard E.J. Murray (Rockledge, FL), who combined scored 44 points for the Panthers. E.J. also led the Panthers in
assists with six while Ryan grabbed six rebounds.
The game got off to a slow start with both teams scoring a combined nine points in the first four minutes. Tech sank their first three-pointer off the
hands of Ryan Maultsby in the fourth minute of play, which propelled the Panthers to a 7-5 lead; a lead that would continue to grow. The Panthers went on a
nine-point run on three consecutive three-pointers by Maultsby and E.J. Murray. With 8:51 remaining in the half, junior center Damien Clarke (Orange Park,
FL) sank a lay-up, the first Panther bucket not worth three points in over eight minutes of play. Tech sank three more consecutive three-pointers, and
eventually took a 23-point lead going into the half, 42-19. Murray went a perfect 5-5 from behind the arc while Maultsby went 4-7.
Tech continued to dominate in the second half, spreading the scoring through the entire team. Tech reached a 30-point lead seven minutes into the half on a
Maultsby lay-up that brought the score to 63-33 and they reached their largest lead with eight minutes left to play off a lay-up by senior forward Titus
Vainauskas (Vilnius, Lithuania). Even the Panther bench was putting on a show, with senior guard Desmond Greene (Rockledge, FL) attempting two consecutive
dunks, and junior guard Joseph Salls (Homewood, AL) sinking two three-pointers. Tech scored the final two points of the night on a couple of successful
free-throws by senior guard Michael Carbenia (Orlando, FL), ending the game on top 94-68.
Junior Matt Hill (Fort Myers, FL) also had a great night for the Panthers, scoring 16 points while dishing five assists. Sophomore center Jod Kelley
(McCormick, SC) scored 11 points while dishing three assists and grabbing five rebounds and four steals. Titus Vainauskas led the Panthers with seven
Two Wildcats, freshman guard Steve Gardner (US Virgin Islands) and senior guard Ramon Echavarria (Bronx, NY), each scored 18 points. Echavarria also
grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, landing him a double-double; 12 of his 18 points came off of free throws.
With the win the Panthers improve to 5-20 on the season; the Wildcats fall to 10-14. Tech plays their last home game this weekend as they host sunshine
state conference rivals University of Tampa on Wednesday, part of a Panther double-header. Tip-off for the men’s game is scheduled for 7:30 pm.