Bucs Win 22nd Straight

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

FORT MYERS, FLA.- The #13 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers extended their win streak to 22 games Wednesday night in Suncoast Credit Union Arena, dominating visiting Hillsborough 103-66 to improve to 26-2 on the season.   

The Bucs actually got off to a slow start, trailing Hillsborough 9-4 towards the midway point of the first quarter. Back to back threes from Za'Nautica Downs gave them their first lead of the night, but the Hawks retook the lead with 3:30 remaining in the period at 14-12.  It was all Bucs from there as FSW closed the quarter on a 12-0 run, turning a two point deficit into a 10 point, 24-14 lead after one quarter of action. 

The Bucs began to pull away midway through the second as they went on another burst, this time a 9-0 run led by Tina Stephens, to take their largest lead of the half at 42-23.  Hillsborough scrapped back before the break, but FSW was still in control after 20 minutes of play, taking a 50-37 lead into the locker rooms at half.

FSW shot 59% from the field and 50% from the three point line in the half while holding Hillsborough to 34% shooting overall. Downs and Stephens led the Bucs with 12 first half points while Shondell Vickers added 10.

The Bucs quickly pushed their lead back to 20 early in the third quarter and by the midway point nearly had the game on ice leading 72-44.  They weren't satisfied just yet though as Janira Collier banged a three to start a 10 point in three minute stretch for FSW to give them a commanding 82-50 lead after three quarters of play. 

The only drama left in this one was when FSW was going to hit the century mark and the Bucs did that to the joy of their home crowd with exactly three minutes left on a bucket from Downs and they cruised to the win from there 103-66.

After the offense led the way in the first half, the defense did its job in the second for FSW, holding Hillsborough to just 22% shooting and eight second half field goals to finish the night at under 30% from the floor.  Conversely, the Bucs shot a smooth 51% from the field and converted 13 of 17 from the line on the night. 

Downs powered the Buccaneer attack with a team high 26 while Stephens notched her third straight double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Vickers joined her with a double-double of her own, chipping in 13 points and 11 boards.  

FSW wins their 22nd straight to improve to 26-2 on the year while remaining perfect in Suncoast Conference play at 8-0.  Hillsborough sees any hopes of postseason run dashed as they fall to 12-14 overall and 1-6 in conference play.

The Bucs will have a week off before returning to the court next Wednesday, February 20th when they host IMG in a non-conference contest beginning at 5:30 PM.