MELBOURNE, Fla. – Ashley Shell put together the best performance of her career as Florida Southern College women's basketball picked up a 72-57 road win at Sunshine State Conference rival Florida Tech on Thursday night at the Clemente Center.
The Moccasins (7-6, 4-1 SSC) shook off a slow start to knock off the Panthers (6-7, 2-3) for the fifthstraight time. Shell finished with career-highs 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Julia Jenike led all players with 20 points and Mackenzie Steele added 16.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• 1st Quarter | Florida Southern got off to an extremely slow start as it fell behind by five points (8-3) in the opening five minutes and trailed by five (15-10) with just 1:22 left in the period. However, Jenike hit a layup through contact with 16 seconds to go and converted the ensuing free throw to slice the deficit to two (15-13) after the first quarter.
• 2nd Quarter | The Moccasin offense found its footing in the second quarter as Southern shot 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the floor in the period. Down by three (32-29) with 4:17 to go in the first half, the Mocs mounted a 12-2 run to jump on top by seven (41-34) on Elsa Landberg's free throws with 1:01 to go and took a 41-36 lead into the locker room at the half.
• 3rd Quarter | Florida Southern carried the momentum into the third quarter by taking its first double-digit lead (51-41) with 4:54 to go in the third and pushed its advantage to as many as 12 points on two occasions in the final five minutes. The Mocs held a 55-44 lead after three quarters.
• 4th Quarter | The Mocs were mostly able to coast in the fourth quarter. Although Florida Tech went on a short 5-0 run to slice a 13-point deficit to an eight-point deficit (57-49) at the 7:42 mark, it would be all the closer it would get as Florida Southern ran away with the game and led by as many as 17 before the Panthers scored a meaningless bucket on their final possession. • Florida Southern shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) from the floor while going 6-of-18 from long range and 10-of-13 at the charity stripe. The Panthers managed to shoot just 31.7 percent (20-of-63), including a dismal 2-of-18 in the third quarter when the Mocs held Florida Tech to just eight points.
• The Moccasins finished with a 44-33 advantage in rebounds, which led to a 32-24 scoring advantage in the paint. Florida Southern also tallied 10 total steals, with Aubrey Burke grabbing a game-high three.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 44-39 all-time against Florida Tech, including a 15-19 mark when facing the Panthers on the road. The Mocs have won the past five meetings in the series, and have defeated Florida Tech in seven straight regular-season meetings.
• Moccasin head coach Betsy Harris picked up the 190th win of her career. She is now 122-45 in six seasons at Florida Southern and was 68-27 in three seasons at Coastal Georgia. Harris is 10 wins shy of hitting 200 for her career, and is third all-time in coaching wins at Florida Southern, trailing only Norm Benn (250) and Diane Foli (170).
• Jenike scored 20 points for the third time this season. Each of those 20-point performances have come in the last five games.
• Florida Southern will take on Nova Southeastern at home at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday before hitting the road for SSC contests at Rollins (Jan. 8) and Eckerd (Jan. 15).