Posted: Dec 16, 2022
WINTER HAVEN, Fla.- The Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers got the Polk State Eagles best effort Thursday night on the road in Winter Haven, but it wasn't enough as FSW hung on late for a 83-77 win to close the first half of the 2022-2023 schedule 9-4.
The Bucs were rolling offensively from the tip on Thursday as early back to back threes from Bradley Douglas and AJ Hopkins had them out to a 14-8 advantage less than five minutes in. FSW kept their distance from the Eagles and a 5-0 run midway through the half pushed their lead to double digits at 30-18 as Jordan Mitchell drove the lane and scored with 8:07 left in the half. Polk had their best push of the half in the final four minutes as they tuned a 12 point FSW lead into just a six point contest at the break 40-34. Polk had no answer for the Bucs offense in the first 20 minutes as FSW shot 56% from the field and an even 50% from distance.
A bucket from Tyson Brown on the inside stretched FSW's lead to 13 just three minutes into the second and Jadrian Tracey used a hesitation move to get an easy two at the midway point of the period to give FSW their largest lead of the night at 62-48 with 10:13 to go. It looked like the Bucs were well on their way to another blowout win with 6:00 left as they led by a dozen, but Polk showed some fight, getting all the way back to within two in the final minute of the contest. The Bucs got a key defensive stop with 10 seconds remaining and a pair of free throws from Tracey put it on ice as FSW went on to win it 83-77 at the final horn.
The Bucs shot 55% from the field in the win, led by Douglas who put up a team high 21 on 9-12 shooting. Tracey joined Douglas in double figures with 16 on just eight field goal attempts.
FSW wins their final game before the Holiday Break as they improve to 9-4 on the year while Polk drops to a disappointing 5-9.
The Bucs will have 16 days off before taking the court again on January 2nd and 3rd in the FSW New Year's Classic at Suncoast Arena.