FSW Blows Past SCF In Must Win Contest

Jadrian Tracey (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/CaptivePhotons.com)
Jadrian Tracey (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/CaptivePhotons.com)
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Jadrian Tracey exploded for a career high 34 points while freshmen Dezdrick Lindsay and Jaehshon Thomas both notched their career highs with 20 and 15 respectively as the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers blew past the State College of Florida Manatees late for a 94-78 victory in a key Southern Conference contest for the two sides Thursday night in Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers. 
In a must win game for both teams, it was an entertaining start for the Bucs and the Manatees as the two traded early blows while putting up 18 points in the first three minutes to a 9-9 tie.  Jaehshon Thomas' second three in the first five minutes pushed the Bucs ahead by three and that is where things stood at the under 15 media timeout as FSW led SCF 15-12. After the Manatees came back to take a two point lead of their own, a tough lay in from Jordan Mitchell turned into a three point play to put FSW up 18-17 and Dezdrick Lindsay found Tyson Brown down low for a two handed slam to make it 23-20 Bucs midway through the first half. Jadrian Tracey buried a three from the top of the key to put FSW up eight, but the Manatees scored the next six to cut it back to just two at 29-27 with 4:36 to go in the half. The play of the game, and maybe the year came two minutes later when Lindsay knifed to the basket and elevated up and over an SCF defender for a highlight reel slam along with a foul as the Bucs took a 38-32 lead while sending the boisterous Suncoast Credit Union Arena crowd into a tizzy.  At the half it was a four point game in favor of the Bucs as FSW led the Manatees 39-35.  
Slowly the Bucs began to pack onto their lead as the second half got underway as Tracey grabbed a rebound and went the length of the court for two to make it a seven point game and Thomas picked off a pass and threw it down on the other end moments later to make it a 52-42 game with 15:51 remaining.  Tracey drilled a three to tie his career high with 23 points with 12:03 to go and then banked another in to give him 26 and put the Bucs up 66-50 with 11:07 remaining in the contest. AJ Hopkins flushed one home with his left hand to put FSW up 20 with under eight minutes to go and SCF never threatened again.  It was showtime for the Bucs late as Thomas threw one up for Jemal Davis who took the elevator to the top of the square for an alley oop slam to put the exclamation point on it for FSW who finished the Manatees off 94-78 to run their win streak to four. 
The Bucs shot 68% from the field in the second to finish at 55% overall for the game while shooting 46% from three point land as a team. Tracey, Lindsay, and Thomas all put up career highs in the win as Tracey went for the most points by an FSW player in over two years with 34 on 12-16 shooting and 7-10 from three while Lindsay had his third straight big game with 20, and Thomas put up 15 and 6 assists in just his second start of the year. Brown finished with 8 points and a game high 13 rebounds along with a +16 plus/minus in the win. 
FSW wins its fourth straight game to take over sole possession of second place in the Southern Conference standings with an 18-8 overall and 6-5 mark in league play.  SCF falls out of the final guaranteed playoff spot from the Southern Conference as they drop to 15-11 and 5-5 in conference action. 
The Bucs will jump out of conference action on Tuesday night when they host Palm Beach State in a 7 PM tip from Suncoast Credit Union Arena, before wrapping up league play on February 25th at home when they take on Hillsborough with a postseason berth on the line.