FORT MYERS, FLA.- After getting the job done on the offensive end in their past four games, the #18 FSW Buccaneers went with a little different strategy on Saturday, holding visiting Daytona State to just 27% shooting while forcing 25 turnovers on the defensive end to come away with a 76-47 win to improve to 10-2 on the year.
The Bucs got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 7-2 and then 13-6 lead in the opening minutes of the contest. However, their momentum was stopped and it took a while for FSW to get it rolling again as Dayton State trimmed their lead to just one at the midway point of the first quarter at 13-12. A big three from Kiara Felder from the top pushed the Buc lead back to five moments later and a bucket from Tonysha Curry in the final minute of the period gave them an eight point advantage after one at 23-15.
FSW looked like they were ready to open things up as they scored the first seven points of the second quarter to take a commanding 30-15 lead over the Falcons, but Daytona State roared back as the Bucs were lulled to sleep, closing the gap back to just seven midway through the period. Scoring was tough to come by over the final five minutes of the quarter as the two teams combined for just eight points as the game went to the half with the score 34-27 in favor of the Bucs.
The Bucs shot 50% in the half while holding Daytona to just 31% shooting, but the Falcons got up 10 more field goal attempts thanks in large part to 14 first half offensive rebounds.
FSW came out in the second half ready to go, quickly pushing their lead back to double digits at 39-29, but again they were unable to sustain the momentum as Daytona State cut the lead back down to five with 5:14 remaining in the period. Za'Nautica Downs scored in transition for the Bucs to make it a nine point game at the 4:00 mark and FSW was able to increase their lead to a dozen by the end of the quarter at 50-38.
With Daytona State down by 12 heading into the fourth, the Falcons were forced to speed up the pace and that played right into the hands of the waiting Bucs. Just 1:40 into the fourth, FSW matched their largest lead of the night at 15 when Downs finished another bucket at the rim to make it 56-41. Then it was Tina Stephens' turn as she drove baseline and scored to stretch the lead to 19. FSW went on to outscore Daytona 26-9 in the fourth to finish off their sixth straight win by a count of 76-47 at the final horn.
FSW shot 48% from the field in the game while holding Daytona to just 27%. The Bucs forced 25 Falcon turnovers, turning those into 27 points on the afternoon. Stephens led the Bucs with 16 points in the victory while Simone Lett had 10 and Downs finished with 9.
The Bucs improve to 10-2 on the year with the victory while Daytona State falls to 8-5.
FSW will be back in action on Tuesday when they look to avenge one of their two losses on the year when they host DME Academy in a 5:30 tip from Suncoast Credit Union Arena.