AMERICUS, Ga.- The #3 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers knocked off their second straight unbeaten opponent on Friday night in Georgia, building a big lead before hanging on late to down Triton 88-83 in a battle of 30 win teams from a season ago.
The Bucs came out ready to go, jumping out to a 21-12 lead midway through the first half of action. Moments later they grew their lead to 30-14, but Triton was able to chip into the lead before the half, cutting the FSW advantage to 37-28 at the break.
The teams played even through the first 10 minutes of the second half as the Bucs continued to lead it by nine at 64-55. FSW pushed their lead up to 13 late and looked like they had the game in the bag, leading 82-69 with 2:00 remaining. That's when things went south, and south in a hurry for the Purple and Aqua. A quick 8-0 run for the Trojans made it a five point game and a frustration technical foul called on the Bucs sliced their lead all the way down to 82-79. A Buc turnover and ensuing layup for Triton made it a one point game with just over a minute to go. Jalen Finch was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to stop a 12-0 Triton run and a stop and two more charities for the Bucs sealed it late as they went on to win 88-83 to avert disaster against the Trojans.
The Bucs shot 57% en route to scoring 51 points in the second half. They finished the game at 51% overall and hit on 39% from beyond the arc, well above their 24% season average heading into the game. Keon Ellis had a big game for the Bucs leading the way with 28 points on 9 of 14 shooting in the win. Berrick JeanLouis joined him in double figures with 12, as did Finch with 11. Jermaine Marshall came up one point short of a double-double, going for 9 points and 13 rebounds for FSW.
FSW improves to 6-0 on the year with the victory while Triton suffers their first loss of the year to drop to 3-1.
The Bucs will be back in action in less than 24 hours when they return to the court at 1 PM on Saturday when they take on Wake Tech to wrap up their play in the South Georgia Tech Classic.