Florida Tech too Powerful to Slow Down as Panthers Take Out Sailfish

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After sweeping Florida Tech in their home and home matchup last season the Sailfish men’s basketball team hoped to get the ball rolling on another victory on Wednesday night at the Rubin Arena versus the Panthers. That wouldn’t take place on this night however as the Panthers grabbed an early lead and never looked back as they claimed the 87-69 win over the Sailfish.

Florida Tech senior guard Simon Cummings poured in 14 first-half points of 5-of-6 shooting including a perfect three- of-three from beyond the arc to lead the first-half charge that saw the Panthers (5-1) lead by as many as 18 points in the first 20 minutes of play.

Cummings and the high-tempo FIT offense wouldn’t let up in the second-half as they aimed to take advantage of their quickness at the guard positions and exploit the Sailfish bigger front-line.

Cummings finished with 21 points on the night as he knocked down 7-of-10 shots from the field (4-of-6 from three-point range) while adding in three assists and two steals in 30 minutes. The Port St. Lucie product was the catalyst for the Panthers all night long as he led four double-digit scorers.

The Sailfish (1-6) were paced by a solid performance from junior guard Dante Valentine as the Atlanta, Georgia native buried 15 points and added in three steals while connecting on 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point line.

Senior Terrell Terry added in 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting while freshman Marcus Hardy chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds. John Hawkins had another solid showing off the bench with 11 points while connecting on his first career 3-pointer while adding in four boards in 19 minutes for the 7’0” freshman center.

Beyond Cumming’s big output was fellow senior Derek Hellemann with 15 points and six rebounds while freshman Jermaine Jackson connected for 14 points. DeMario Robinson chipped in six points and seven assists.

Florida Tech completed a torrid second-half shooting effort as they made 19-of-26 field-goal attempts for an eye-popping 73.1 percent shooting effort. They finished with a 57.9 percent (33-57) shooting mark for the game while limiting PBA to a 47.4 percent (27-57) mark overall as the Fish also had a dominant second-half at 63 percent (17-27).

The Fish will host No. 2 ranked (NAIA Division II National Poll) Northwood University on Saturday, December 3rd at 4 pm following a women’s matchup at 2 pm versus Valdosta State University.

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