FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.
– The shots were going in early and often for the Nova Southeastern University women's basketball team (14-8, 10-4 SSC), but a cold third period resulted in the Sharks' 77-73 loss to the visiting Florida Tech Panthers (10-8, 5-8 SSC) in league play on Saturday afternoon at the Rick Case Arena.
With three players scoring in double-digits, led by Christen Prasse
's 21, Katie Barnard
's 15 and Amanda Tivenius
' 11, the Sharks were unable to stop the Panthers late-game surge in the third and fourth quarters to come away with the win. This was the second conference meeting between the two, where FIT managed a late-game comeback to take the regular season series.
Despite getting down early in the first quarter, the Sharks shot just under 62 percent and went on a 13-4 scoring run to close out the first ten minutes of play. With the score tied 9-9 at the 4:52 mark, NSU's Prasse hit a free throw that ignited the run, while Barnard closed out the frame hitting a pair from the charity stripe to give NSU a 22-13 lead.
NSU continued to keep a comfortable lead in front of the Panthers until a 6-0 run by FIT knotted the game for the fifth time, 26-26. The Sharks responded quickly with a 9-1 run of the own, sparked by an Octavia Wilson
layup, to take a 35-27 advantage into the break.
After being outshot 60 percent to 27.3 percent from the field, the Sharks saw their lead slowly diminish towards the end of the third quarter. At the 4:29 mark, NSU grabbed their largest lead of the game (44-33) with a split pair of free throws by Barnard, before the Panthers slowly started to chip away at the deficit. Over the next four and a half minutes, FIT halted NSU's scoring to just two points, as they tallied 11 to come within two points (46-44) heading into the final frame.
Within the first 10 seconds of the fourth quarter the Panthers knotted the game, 46-46, before taking the lead for the first time since the first quarter with a layup plus one by Julie McCarthy. The Sharks took back the lead and grabbed a five-point cushion, before FIT would explode for a 17-3 run to grab its largest lead of the game, 64-55. The Sharks tried their best to rally, coming within two with 16 seconds remaining on the board, but fell short as the Panthers escaped with the 77-73 win.
Along with her team-high 21 points, Prasse had two steals and two assists. Barnard also tallied four rebounds while Tivenius had five. Wilson led the team with six assists, to go along with nine points and Cheray Saunders
had eight points and made four steals.
FIT had four players in double-digits in DeLise Williams (25), Gudlau Julisdottir (19), McCarthy (11) and Markeema Crawford (10).
The Sharks will hit the road again on Wednesday, traveling to Winter Park, Fla. to take on the Rollins Tars at 5:30 p.m. For live stats and video, head to the women's basketball schedule page on NSUSharks.com.