OCALA, FLA.- The #5 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers picked up their 11th straight win to start the season on Saturday before dropping their first contest of the year to #1 Northwest Florida State on Sunday in a split weekend at the 2018 Florida Juco Shootout.
FSW warned his team about overlooking their first opponent of the weekend, Pensacola State, as they eyed their top five matchup with the Raiders on Sunday. In the first half, it looked like that might have been exactly what happened for the Bucs as they found themselves in a dogfight with the Pirates in the first 20 minutes of action. At the break, it was just a three point lead for FSW at 33-30.
The Bucs woke up in the second half and picked up the pace, outscoring Pensacola 39-22 in the final 20 minutes to run away with a 72-52 victory, their 11th of the season.
The win by FSW set up the NJCAA Game of the Year thus far as the 5th ranked Bucs took on top ranked Northwest Florida on Sunday.
It was a defensive struggle early on with points tough to come by. It was a five point game with three minutes to go in the first half when the Raiders stepped on the gas, outscoring the Bucs by eight to close the period and take a 35-22 lead into the break at half.
The Bucs flipped the script in the second half, going toe to toe with the #1 team in the country. Manning Jr. and Maddox Daniels put the Bucs on their back, carrying FSW all the way back into the contest and giving them a chance late before a turnover ended their hopes of a comeback. At the final horn the Raiders hung on in a 69-65 decision to hand FSW their first loss of the 2018-19 campaign.
In the loss, Manning Jr. notched his second career double-double, and first of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Maddox Daniels chipped in 14 for FSW who struggled to just 32% shooting on the afternoon.
FSW moves to 11-1 on the year with the split weekend. The Bucs will be back in action for the final time before the break on Thursday and Friday when they travel to ASA Miami and Indian River to close out the first half.
FOLLOW THE BUCS
For the latest news on FSW Athletics, log on to FSWBucs.com or stay connected to the Bucs on social media. Follow the Buccaneers on Twitter @FSWBucs, on Instagram @FSWBucs, on Facebook at Facebook.com/FSWBucs and on Snapchat at BucsSnaps.
WATCH THE BUCS ONLINE
All of FSW's home games will be available online through FSW Livestream (FSW.edu/livestream), and can be viewed on smartphones, tablets and laptop or desktop computers.
SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION ARENA
The Buccaneers compete in the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Suncoast Credit Union Arena is approximately 75,000 square feet and is home to the FSW basketball teams and a student athletic center. The arena seats approximately 3,300 fans and includes six skyboxes, a hospitality event center, competition courts that convert into recreational courts, athletic office space, student, faculty and staff wellness, and an athletic center with a fitness pavilion, men's and women's locker rooms and a weight training area. The arena has two Daktronics displays, on the north and south walls, that each measure 10 feet high by 20 feet wide. Both displays incorporate variable content zoning to each show one large image or they can be divided into multiple windows to show any variety of live video, instant replays, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages. One-hundred feet of ribbon displays have been installed on the east and west walls of the arena. The ribbons provide the opportunity to supplement the content on the main displays as well as highlight sponsors throughout events.