Posted: Jan 08, 2023
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The #25 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers erased a 12 point second half deficit to come away with a 91-89 win over Indian River in the closing seconds Saturday afternoon in Suncoast Credit Union Arena as Jadrian Tracey drove to the bucket and scored with 3.8 seconds remaining and the Bucs forced a miss at the buzzer to win their Conference opener for seventh consecutive season.
In a matchup of two of the highest scoring teams in the state, both sides struggled early offensively as the game featured just four points a side through the first four minutes of the game. Things picked up from there as Bradley Douglas scored five straight for the Bucs and Indian River answered with five straight of their own to make it 9-9 with 15:30 to go in the first. FSW went up four as the halfway point of the half approached, but a lightning quick 8-0 run by the Pioneers had Indian River on top 25-21 at the under 10 media timeout. Jemal Davis put the Bucs back on top with a baby hook with 9:12 remaining in the first, but Indian River got the next eight to take their largest lead to that point in the game at 34-27 with 7:57 to go in the half. The teams continued to go back and forth until late in the half when a 12-5 run for the Pioneers gave them a 51-43 lead into the break at half.
Both teams hit at a high clip in the first half as FSW shot 52% from the field and 43% from three as Indian River shot an even 50% from the field and an eye popping 55% from distance.
The Bucs looked like they were in trouble early in the second as their deficit grew to a dozen at 59-47, but FSW Head Coach Eric Murphy had a bit of a trick up his sleeve as the Bucs switched to a rarely used zone defense to work their way back into the game. They held the Pioneers without a point over the next two minutes while going on an 8-0 jaunt to get back to within four and two minutes later Tyson Brown scored on a tip in put back to level the score at 61 with 12:22 to go. A nice dish from Douglas to Wesley Oba gave the Bucs a three point lead with 7:31 remaining and a drive and score from Douglas at the 6:00 mark put FSW up 82-76 to force an Indian River timeout. A pair of free throws from Dezdrick Lindsay kept it a six point game in favor of the Bucs with 3:03 to go, but Indian River continued fighting, clawing back to within four with a minute to go and leveling the score at 89 with just 18 seconds left. The Bucs had one chance to win it in their final possession, and they did just that as Jadrian Tracey drove to the basket and scored in traffic with 3.8 seconds remaining to give the Bucs a 91-89 lead. The Bucs forced a tough shot on Indian River's next possession and it was off the mark as the clock expired with FSW winning it 91-89.
Douglas led the Bucs with 32 points on 14-24 shooting in the win while Tracey added 19 including the game winner off the FSW bench.
The Bucs improve to 13-3 overall and 1-0 in Southern Conference play with the win while Indian River drops to 13-5 and 0-1 in league play.
The Bucs are back in action on Wednesday in Miami when they take on the Sharks in Southern Conference play beginning at 7:30 PM.