MELBOURNE, Fla. – Five different players scored in double figures as Florida Southern College used an early second-half run to come away with a hard-fought, 86-79, victory over Florida Tech on Thursday night at the Clemente Center.
The Moccasins (12-1, 4-1 SSC) ran their win streak to nine consecutive games and kept pace atop the Sunshine State Conference standings as they defeated the Panthers (7-6, 1-4) for the sixth time in the past seven meetings. E.J. Dambreville and Jair Rodgers led the Mocs with 17 points each, while Brett Hanson (16), Jalyn Hinton (16), and Jack Rauch (15) also scored in double figures.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a slow start offensively, shooting just 34.1 percent (14-of-41) and scoring just 36 points in the first half. But the Mocs turned up the heat defensively and limited Florida Tech to just 32 points on 27.0 percent (10-of-37) in the first half of play.
- Both teams traded jabs back and forth for the first 10 minutes, as neither team led by more than two points until the Panthers took an 18-13 lead on Sesan Russell's three-pointer with 9:38 on the clock.
- The Moccasins were able to chip away at the deficit and finally regained the lead (25-24) on Hanson's free throw with 3:48 on the clock, and eventually took a 36-32 advantage into the locker room at the half.
- The defining moments of the game came early in the second half as Southern, leading by just one points (36-35), went on an 11-0 run over a three-minute stretch to jump on top 47-35 when Rauch converted a three-point play with 16:33 left to play.
- Florida Southern stayed in front by double digits for almost the entirety of the next six minutes, but Florida Tech battled back to pull within five (61-56) with just 7:47 remaining. After taking an 11-point lead (74-63) with 3:07 left to play, the Mocs were on the wrong side of a 10-2 run that sliced their lead to three (76-73) with just over a minute to go.
- In the final minute, the Moccasins hit clutch free throws down the stretch and got fast break dunks from Dambreville and Hinton to put an exclamation point on the team's ninth-straight win.
- The Mocs shot 42.3 percent (33-of-78) on the night while holding Florida Tech to just 37.7 percent (26-of-69). Southern shot 51.4 percent (19-of-37) in the second half and scored 50 second-half points. The Moccasins finished with a 49-42 edge in rebounds and a 48-34 advantage in the paint.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 68-25 all-time against Florida Tech, including a 26-14 mark when facing the Panthers on the road. The win was the Mocs' sixth in their last seven meetings against Florida Tech.
- Rauch pushed his career scoring total to 959 and needs just 41 more points to become the 44th player in program history to score 1,000 career points. He would be the fourth player in head coach Mike Donnelly's five seasons to score 1,000 points in a Moccasin uniform.
- Rauch also upped his career rebound total to 639, and needs 51 more to move into the top 10 in program history.
- Hanson pushed his career point total to 1,826, 43 shy of fourth place in school history. He is on pace to become the third player in program history with 2,000 career points. Hanson also has recorded 730 rebounds, good for seventh all-time, and 181 steals, placing him seventh.
- Hanson is now 10 assists shy of cracking the top 10 in career assists. He has recorded 363 in his career.
- Hinton recorded three blocks to up his season total to 42. He leads the nation in total blocks and blocks per game (4.2). Hinton has at least three blocks in nine of the 10 games he has played in this season.
- Florida Southern will take on No. 4 Nova Southeastern at home at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday before hitting the road for SSC contests at Rollins (Jan. 8) and Eckerd (Jan. 15).