#9 FSW Breezes Past Broward in Region VIII Quarters

#9 FSW Breezes Past Broward in Region VIII Quarters

OCALA, FLA.- The #9 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers got off to a hot start and never looked back Wednesday afternoon in the FCSAA/Region VIII Tournament Quarterfinals, dispatching of Broward 99-74 to advance to the tournament final four on Friday. 

The Bucs got off to a quick start in their fourth matchup of the season against the Seahawks, scoring on three of their first four possessions of the game to take an early 6-0 lead.  They stretched their lead to double digits moments later as Tonysha Curry hit a pair of free throws, but Broward made their first run of the game after that to cut the FSW lead back to five at 13-8 with 4:24 remaining in the quarter.  It remained a five point game one minute later when FSW stepped on the gas, going on an 8-0 run behind Tina Stephens and Cherelle Washington to push the lead back to 13 at 23-10.  The Bucs went cold from there, failing to score until the closing seconds of the period, but their defense was good enough to give them a 26-17 lead after one. 

The Bucs blew things wide open early in the second quarter as Washington found Stephens on the break for two to put FSW up 41-24.  The Bucs eventually stretched the lead all the way to 20 when Curry scored on a putback and held that lead to the break, taking a 51-31 lead into the locker room at half. 

FSW shot 43% in the half, holding Broward to just 33% shooting from the floor.  The Bucs owned the boards, outrebounding the Seahawks 28-15 including 13 offensive boards.  Neither team took great care of the ball, combining for 23 turnovers, 13 from Broward and 10 from FSW.  Stephens filled up the stat sheet in the first 20 minutes, ending the half with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Washington chipped in 10 points off the bench in just nine minutes of action.

Scoring was hard to come by for the Bucs early in the third quarter as they managed just five points in the first five minutes of the period and Broward trimmed the lead to 56-39.  After a timeout, the Bucs went on a 9-2 run to retake control, cushioning their lead to the largest of the game at 65-41 with 2:30 to go in the quarter. Broward found some momentum before the end of the quarter, but FSW remained in control at the end of three, leading the Seahawks 69-51. 

Broward made it a 15 point game early in the fourth quarter and it remained that way to the 7:39 mark when Stephens knocked down a runner in the lane to push the Bucs lead back to 73-56.  Broward never threatened again as FSW pushed the lead to as many as 28 late in the contest before finishing off a 99-74 win to advance in the tournament. 

FSW finished the game shooting 45% from the field and held Broward to 38% overall, but more importantly, kept the sharpshooting Seahawks to just 5 three pointers on 23 attempts in the game.  Stephens narrowly missed a triple-double, lighting up the scoreboard for 27 points while hauling down 9 rebounds and picking off 8 steals. Washington came off the FSW bench to score a career high 17 while Za'Naurica Downs and Shondell Vickers both reached double figures with 13 and 12 respectively. 

The Bucs improve to 29-2 on the year while Broward sees their season come to an end at 22-8 with three of those losses coming to FSW. 

FSW advances to the FCSAA/Region VIII Tournament Semifinals where they will play the winner of the Gulf Coast State/Daytona State matchup on Friday at 1 PM.