Defense Propels Bucs to Seventh Straight Win

L-R, Simone Lett, Za'Nautica Downs, Nairimar Vargas-Reyes (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)
L-R, Simone Lett, Za'Nautica Downs, Nairimar Vargas-Reyes (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)
DAVIE, Fla.- While the usually high powered Florida SouthWestern State offense couldn't find its rhythm Wednesday night in the Buccaneers' first half finale, their defense did, holding the opposing Broward Seahawks to just 31% shooting while forcing 22 turnovers to come away with their seventh straight victory in a 72-56 triumph to send them to the break 11-4 on the year.  
The play on the floor looked like the mismatch it was on paper early on as the 13th ranked Bucs raced out to a 16-5 lead on the winless Seahawks just 4:30 into things.  Broward outscored FSW from there to the end of the quarter though, cutting the Bucs lead to nine at the end of one, 22-13.  
The second quarter wasn't easy on the eyes for anyone looking for offense in Mayer Gymnasium.  The Bucs managed just four field goals and 11 points while Broward only eked out four of their own as FSW extended their lead to double digits at the break at 33-23. 
The Bucs looked like they had their offensive woes figured out as they came out on fire in the third, scoring 18 points in the first 5:42 to open up their biggest lead to that point in the game at 51-37.  They continued to cushion their advantage, ultimately heading to the final period with a 58-42 lead.  
FSW again went cold in the fourth, but their defense stepped up to nurse the big lead as they played even with the Seahawks in the fourth to come away with a 72-56 win in their final contest before the holiday break.  
The Bucs won despite their worst shooting effort of the season as they finished the game connecting on just 32% from the field, 22% from three point range, and a rough 38% from the free throw line.  Newcomer Zairea Hannah and Sheslanie Laureano paced the team with 12 points and 8 rebounds each, combining to go 12-24 (50%) from the field.  Za'Nautica Downs shook off a slow shooting game to finish with 12 points and a game high 13 rebounds for the Bucs in the win. 
FSW wins their seventh in a row to improve to 11-4 on the year while Broward remains without a victory this season at 0-13.  
The Bucs will now enjoy a well deserved 10 day break before returning to the court again on December 28th and 29th where they will take on Santa Fe and Chipola in the FSW Holiday Classic at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.