Bucs Road Woes Continue In Tampa

Jadrian Tracey (Photo by William Parmeter)
Jadrian Tracey (Photo by William Parmeter)
TAMPA, Fla.- The #20 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers have been unbeatable this season at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, going a perfect 10-0 at home, but their struggles on the road continued on Saturday as they shot just 37% from the field and turned the ball over 17 times in a 65-64 loss to the Hillsborough Hawks to fall to 3-4 in true road games in 2022-2023. 
It was another tough start offensively on the road for the Bucs as they managed just 11 points through the first 10 minutes of the contest as they fell behind the Hawks 20-11 before the under 10 media timeout. They started to find a bit of a groove out of the break, getting buckets from Dezdrick Lindsay and Tyson Brown in the paint to cut Hillsborough's lead to just four at 25-21 with 7:15 to go in the half. It continued to be a struggle offensively though over the final seven minutes as the Bucs managed just seven points and were forced to head to the locker rooms at the half down four at 32-28. 
One thing that didn't struggle was the Bucs defense. FSW locked in on the defensive end and limited Hillsborough to just eight points over the first seven minutes of the second half to slowly creep back in and eventually tie the game at 40 on a pair of free throws from Jordan Mitchell with 13:00 to go.  It was a slugfest from there as the teams went back and forth without being able to gain any ground as they remained tied at 59 with 5:00 remaining. Hillsborough inched ahead 65-64 with under a minute to go and the Bucs missed two opportunities to take the lead before Hillsborough regained possession with 41 seconds to go. The Bucs defense came up with a big stop and came the other way with a chance to win it not once but twice, on a jumper and then a pair of free throw attempts after an offensive rebound with 0.3 seconds remaining, but both freebies were off the mark and the final horn sounded with the Hawks pulling the upset with a 65-64 win.  
The Bucs shot just 37% overall for the game and didn't make a three pointer until their 13th try of the night as they finished 2-16 from distance.  They left 13 points at the free throw line, going 20-33 and turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 20 Hillsborough points.  Individually Tyson Brown led the way with a 17 point, 15 rebound double-double, Jordan Mitchell was the only other player in double figures with 10. 
FSW falls to 14-5 overall and 2-2 in Southern Conference play with the loss. Each of their last three losses have come by just one point.  Hillsborough wins their first game in over a month to improve to 14-6 on the year while picking up their first win in conference play as they move to 1-3 in Southern Conference action. 
The Bucs will try to get back on track on Wednesday in a tough road matchup at Indian River who hasn't lost since FSW defeated them 91-89 in Suncoast Arena on January 7th.