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Florida Southern Women's Basketball's Upset Bid Falls Short in Loss to No. 25 Tampa, 65-60

Florida Southern Women's Basketball's Upset Bid Falls Short in Loss to No. 25 Tampa, 65-60

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Southern College women's basketball team's upset bid against the No 25 Tampa Spartans fell short, 65-60, on Wednesday night. The Mocs (10-8 overall) remain in second place in the Sunshine State Conference with a 7-3 mark, while Tampa (13-3 overall), remains perfect in conference play at 10-0.

Three Southern players scored in double figures, led by junior forward Julia Jenike, who scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the first quarter.

HOW IT HAPPENED

• 1st Quarter | After the visiting Spartans took a 4-0 lead, Florida Southern responded with back-to-back buckets by Jenike to take a 5-4 lead. Both teams traded baskets, until Jenike hit a jumper at the 2:36 mark on a pass from senior Elsa Landberg to knot the game at 11 points apiece. But the junior was not done, as she then drained a three-pointer to put the Mocs on top, 14-11. After a Tampa layup, again Jenike struck from downtown, pushing the lead to 17-13, where the score would stand as the quarter came to an end. Jenike tallied 13 of Southern's 17 points in the quarter, connecting on five of her eight shots.

• 2nd Quarter | The Mocs continued to shoot the ball well as the second quarter opened, scoring the first seven points, on two layups by sophomore guard Mackenzie Steele and a three-pointer by Landberg. Southern would lead by as many as 11 points, first on a layup from Steele, then again on a jumper by senior forward Katerina Pazzaglia-Khomenko. Tampa would chisel away at the score, eventually regaining the lead at 30-29, with 1:08 to play before the half. The score would remain that way after the first 20 minutes of play.

• 3rd Quarter | To open the second half, Southern scored on its first possession, as sophomore guard Bekki Kalaydjiev beat her defender off the dribble and made a layup just 12 seconds in. With the game nip and tuck, the Mocs were trailing by two, when sophomore forward Ashley Shell made a jumper at the 6:50 mark to tie the game at 35 -35. That was early in what would become a 14-0 run for the Mocs, which pushed the score to 45-35. Pazzaglia-Khomenko took a pass from Jenike at the 3:41 mark and drained a jump shot from inside the paint. Tampa would rally in the waning minutes, resulting in a 47-45 lead for the Mocs after three quarters.

• 4th Quarter | Tampa would start the fourth quarter hot, scoring the first nine points to take a commanding 53-47 lead. The Mocs would trim that lead to just one point, 55-54, as Steele hit a jump shot with 5:17 to play. It was as close as Southern would get, as Tampa went on for the 65-60 win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

• In all, the lead changed ten times during the game, with three ties. Tampa led for 18:53 of game action, while FSC led for 18:32.

• For the game, the Red and White shot 38.2% from the field, while the visitors shot 53.2%.

• Florida Southern had three players score in double figures, led by Jenike's 15. Pazzaglia-Khomenko and Shell each had ten points. Steele just missed being the fourth member of the double-digit scoring club, with nine points.

• Jenike led the team in rebounds (6) and assists (5). Pazzaglia-Khomenko added five rebounds.

UP NEXT

• Florida Southern will wrap up a three-date home stand, hosting the Buccaneers of Barry University on Saturday, January 25. From there, the Mocs head to Saint Leo on Wednesday, January 29, before returning home to host Embry-Riddle on Saturday, February 1.