FORT MYERS, FLA.- The #17 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers improved to 16-2 on the year Wednesday night, getting 19 points and 10 rebounds from Simone Lett to lead five different players in double figures in a 92-69 win over Palm Beach State.
It was a slow start for the Bucs who trailed for the first four minutes of the game until a pair of free throws from Cherelle Washington gave them their first lead of the night at the 5:56 mark of the first quarter. They got things rolling from there, getting a fast break bucket from Tonysha Curry moments later to stretch the lead to seven and a finish on the inside from Tina Stephens on their final possession of the quarter to put them up 27-18 after one.
The Bucs dominated the second quarter, pushing their lead to 10 and then 15 as Shondell Vickers knocked down a pair at the charity line. Then it was time for FSW to kick things in on the defensive end and that they did, holding the Panthers without a single point over the final 5:26 of the half storming to the locker room on a 15-0 run to take a commanding 51-28 lead at the break.
FSW shot 53% in the first half, connecting on 18 of 34 attempts while holding Palm Beach to just 28% from the floor in the first 20 minutes . Curry led the Bucs with 10 first half points while Za'Nautica Downs had nine and Simone Lett and Tina Stephens had eight each.
The Bucs continued to push as the second half got underway, getting a three from Downs to extend their lead to 60-36 and a bucket from Lett to make it a 25 point game. They took their largest lead of the game on a three from Stephens from the top and held that advantage after three as Kiara Felder connected from deep as time expired in the third to give them a 74-46 cushion heading to the fourth.
With the game well in hand, the Bucs threw things into cruise control in the final 10 minutes, eventually holding the ball at the final horn in a 92-69 victory.
FSW shot 46% overall on the night and were 6 of 15 from three point land, good for 40% while Palm Beach shot just 36% from the field and 8 of 24 from deep. The Bucs were led by Lett who finished off a 19 point, 10 rebound double-double, her second of the year and Downs who also added 19 on 7 of 15 shooting.
The Bucs win their 12th straight to improve to 16-2 on the year while Palm Beach State falls to 4-14.
FSW will now turn their sights to Suncoast Conference action where they begin their title defense on Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg, taking on the Titans in a 2:00 matinee tip.