Sharks Stymie Bucs Once Again

Tyson Brown (Photo by William Parmeter)
Tyson Brown (Photo by William Parmeter)
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Two weeks ago, the Miami Dade Sharks held the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers to their lowest scoring game in program history with just 49 points.  Saturday, the Sharks did it to the Bucs again, holding FSW to just 27% shooting and 54 points, their second lowest total in program history, as the Sharks upset the Bucs 63-54 in FSW's first loss at home at Suncoast Credit Union Arena this season. 
The struggles started early on for the Bucs who managed just three points through the first four minutes of the contest as Miami Dade got out to an early 7-3 lead. The Bucs found a little rhythm and took a 11-10 lead with 14:00 to go in the half, but it was short lived as Miami Dade scored on their next possession to take the lead back and the Bucs never led again. A 4:17 scoreless drought for the Bucs allowed the Sharks to push in front 24-15 with 8:00 to go in the half and after working their way back into things by stacking together stops and getting a couple of buckets, FSW went the final 4:50 of the half without a field goal as Miami Dade pushed their lead to a dozen before the break at 37-25. 
Things didn't get any better for the Bucs after the break as FSW's first nine shots of the second half missed their mark and the Bucs went over seven full minutes before getting their first points of the period with 12:52 to go while watching their deficit grown all the way to 46-25. Their second field goal didn't come until 4:19 later, but their defense was able to keep the Sharks within arm's reach as hustle play by AJ Hopkins led to a dunk on the other end from Jemal Davis to draw the Bucs back to within a dozen at 46-34 with 8:00 remaining.  While their shots from the floor weren't falling, the Bucs made their way to the free throw line enough to keep connected and with 4:01 to go, they had whittled the Sharks lead down to just 10 at 53-43. A three from Jadrian Tracey moments later got the Bucs to within nine and Hopkins was fouled shooting a three with 1:21 remaining where he hit a pair from the line to make it a seven point game.  The Bucs had a chance to make it a two possession game with a stop and a score, but Miami Dade hit a three with the shot clock expiring the next time down the floor and that was all she wrote for the Bucs as the Sharks finished off a stunning 63-54 win on FSW's home floor. 
After shooting 26% against the Sharks two weeks ago, FSW shot just one tick better at 27% Saturday night on their home floor.  Hopkins had a team best 13 points in the loss while Tracey was the only other Buc in double figures with 10.  
The Bucs third straight loss drops them to 14-7 overall and 2-4 in Southern Conference play where they find themselves in unfamiliar territory, outside the playoff picture at the halfway mark. Miami Dade wins the season series for the first time in program history against the Bucs, improving to 14-10 overall and 3-3 in conference action where they will now have the head to head tiebreaker against FSW.  
The Bucs will try to get back on track on Wednesday when they travel to Bradenton to take on State College of Florida in a 7 PM tip from Hal Chasey Gymnasium.