FORT MYERS, Fla.- A year ago the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers topped the 100 point mark 12 different times in route to a program record 30 win campaign. Friday night at Suncoast Credit Union Arena, they notched their first 100 point effort of the 2019-2020 season, blowing away visiting Central Florida 107-60 in the two teams' season openers.
It was all FSW all night long as the 8th ranked Bucs scored the first seven points of the game and 13 of the first 15 to jump out to a 13-2 lead less than four minutes in. Despite a slow stretch through the middle of the first quarter, the Bucs used a late three from Cabria Lewis and a runout layup by A'Moni Waiters to take a 29-14 lead after one.
It was more of the same in the second as FSW outscored the Patriots 17-2 to begin the quarter, opening up their first 30 point lead of the game at 46-16 with 5:31 remaining in the half. The Bucs took their largest lead of the half at the 1:58 mark when Simone Lett connected on a short jumper and the Purple and Aqua stormed into the locker room at half leading 58-28.
Unfortunately for Central Florida, the halftime break didn't slow down the Bucs' high powered attack as FSW again dominated the start to the third quarter, scoring the first 12 points of the period to blow the game wide open at 70-28. A three by Sheslanie Laureano padded the FSW cushion to 44 later in the third and after three complete quarters of play it was FSW 81 and Central Florida 45.
With the game well in hand, the Bucs gave a big opening night crowd something to get excited about with 3:46 remaining in the game as Adonne' Tillman connected with Shekinah Guthrie in the paint for a layup to push FSW over 100 at 101-50. Mercifully the final horn sounded a short time after that with FSW coming away with a 107-60 victory to begin their 2019-2020 season at 1-0.
FSW was led by Laureano who poured in 26 in her FSW debut. Lett added 17 points and six rebounds for the Bucs while Lewis flirted with a quadruple-double all night, finishing with 12 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 6 steals. FSW dominated in the paint, outscoring Central Florida 46-24 while forcing 37 Patriot turnovers and turning those into 52 points on the night.
The Bucs begin the season at 1-0 while the Patriots will look for their first win of opening weekend on Saturday.
FSW now gets arguably their stiffest regular season test in program history on Saturday afternoon in Suncoast Credit Union Arena as they take on defending National Champions and #1 Gulf Coast State at 3 PM.
Prior to the game, the Bucs invite all fans out to their 2019 Tip Off Celebration in the Suncoast Credit Union Arena parking lot where fans of all ages will enjoy free music, games, and fun from 1-3. Admission is free and FSW Athletics is giving out free tickets to Saturday's games to the first 150 people in attendance.