FSW Sets Program Record With Fourth Straight 100 Point Effort

Photo by Brad Young (BradYoungPhoto.com)
Photo by Brad Young (BradYoungPhoto.com)

FORT MYERS, FLA.- The #18 FSW Buccaneers made program history Friday night, reaching the 100 point mark for the fourth straight game in a 100-85 win over visiting Miami Dade.  Tina Stephens led the Bucs with a game high 27 points and 11 rebounds while Nairimar Vargas-Reyes added 17 off the FSW bench to push the Bucs the 9-2 on the year. 

The final score wasn't indicative of how close the game was for the first three quarters of action on Friday.  FSW jumped out to a 6-2 and then 18-11 lead in the first quarter, but Miami Dade closed the gap to just two by the end of the period at 22-20.  Tina Stephens singlehandedly kept the Bucs in front as she scored 12 of FSW's 22 in the first 10 minutes of action as the Sharks manhandled the Bucs in the paint with 16 first quarter points as well as second chance opportunities with 10 points off of eight offensive boards. 

Miami Dade quickly tied the score early in the second quarter, but the Bucs got a spark from Nairimar Vargas-Reyes off the bench as she came in and popped a pair of threes from the corner to push the lead back to seven at 29-22.  They went up by as many as 10 midway through the quarter, but again watched as the Sharks came flying back into it, making it a two point game at 37-35 with 4:21 left in the half.  A nice high-low action from Shondell Vickers and Stephens in the paint put the Bucs up four late in the half, but a bucket in the final minute by Miami Dade made it just a two point game at the break 46-44. 

FSW finished the half shooting just 40% to Miami Dade's 46%, but the Bucs took advantage of 15 Shark turnovers, cashing them into 17 points for the two point advantage at the break.  Stephens led all scorers with 18 first half points, going 10 of 10 from the free throw line in the process.  Vargas-Reyes and Simone Lett sparked FSW off the bench with 14 combined points.

The Sharks took their first lead since the first quarter at the 7:38 mark of the third quarter with a steal and score to go in front 52-50, but the Bucs quickly answered with a drive and score from Tonysha Curry to knot the score back  up at 52.  A steal and score from Curry moments later put the Bucs back in front, and Vargas-Reyes' third three of the game with 3:35 left in the third stretched the FSW lead to seven at 65-58.  The Bucs looked like they were going to start pulling away as they went up 10 late in the quarter, but again the Sharks continued to fight, cutting the lead back to six before a late free throw gave FSW a 72-65 lead after three. 

The hot shooting of Vargas-Reyes continued into the fourth as the freshman gave FSW their biggest lead of the night at 11 with 8:09 remaining, but the Bucs didn't get another field goal for nearly three minutes as their lead dwindled yet again.  A three from Za'Nautica Downs got them back on track and FSW would score 21 points in the final 5:02 in a furious finish to not only put away Miami Dade 100-85, but also to set a program mark with their fourth straight triple digit scoring effort. 

Both teams shot 44% in the contest and neither took care of the ball particularly well as Miami Dade finished with 30 turnovers and FSW 24.  In a real statistical oddity, both teams finished with more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds on the night, the Bucs turning 25 offensive boards into 23 second chance point and Miami Dade 22 on 27 second chances. 

Individually Stephens stole the show, finishing off her first double-double of the season with 27 points and 11 rebounds on 7 of 13 from the field and 13 of 15 from the line.  Vargas-Reyes turned in her best scoring effort in nearly a month as she sparked FSW with 17 off the bench on 5 of 8 shooting and 4 of 5 from three. 

FSW improves to 9-2 with the victory while Miami Dade drops their third straight to fall to 3-6. 

The Bucs will wrap up their weekend Saturday with a 2:00 matinee against Daytona State in Suncoast Credit Union Arena.