Bucs Bang the Boards For Win Over Daytona

Shekinah Guthrie (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)
Shekinah Guthrie (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)
FORT MYERS, Fla.- If you just looked at the shooting percentage numbers from Saturday's Florida SouthWestern vs. Daytona State Women's Basketball game, you might have thought that it was a nip and tuck contest late in the game, as the Buccaneers shot 40.4% and the Falcons 40.6% in the matinee affair.  However, a dominating performance on the glass allowed #15 FSW to get off 25 more shots than the Falcons and they took advantage, putting up a 56 point second half to earn their 15th win of the season in a 94-78 victory. 
FSW jumped out to a 6-4 lead early on in the first, but went ice cold from there, missing their next seven shots in a 2:33 scoring drought as Daytona State went on an 11-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 15-6 midway through the period. A three from Geovana Rios got the Bucs back on track and another from the freshman drew FSW to within three at the end of the first at 21-18.  
A deep three from Za'Nautica Downs two minutes into the second quarter tied the game at 23 and an offensive rebound and putback from the birthday girl Shekinah Guthrie moments later put the Bucs up four, 29-25 with 5:28 to go in the half.  A 6-0 run for the Falcons erased the FSW lead and gave Daytona a two point lead of their own.  Another Guthrie bucket tied the game up at 36 with just over a minute to go in the half and Downs knifed to the basket and score with time winding down to give FSW a 38-36 lead after 20 minutes of play.  
It was quantity over quality for the Bucs in the first half who shot just 30% from the field and 25% from the three point line, but got up 50 field goals and 20 threes thanks to 15 offensive rebounds to outscore the Falcons in the half.  Downs led the Bucs with 12 points and 5 rebounds in the first half while Guthrie added 8 points and 4 boards off the FSW bench.  
It remained a one possession game 3:30 into the third quarter as former Buc Cherelle Washington kept her new squad in the game.  An offensive rebound and putback from Simone Lett followed by a steal and score from Downs changed that and it sent FSW on a 9-0 run to open up their largest lead to that point in the game at 57-46 with 3:47 left in the period. It was more of the same later in the quarter as Lett cashed in another second chance opportunity and Downs continue to light up the scoreboard, giving FSW a 64-54 lead as the teams headed to the fourth.  
The Bucs scored the first four points of the fourth and then really started to put the game away.  A drive and score from Sheslanie Laureano pushed their lead to 18 and two straight jumpers from Ta'Shonna Wright-Gaskins gave the Bucs their largest lead of the game at 86-66 with 3:18 to go.  Daytona closed some ground late, but it was too little and too late as the Bucs finished off a 94-78 win for number 15 on the year.  
After shooting 30% in the first half, the Bucs connected at a 53% rate in the second, finishing the game at 40% overall. They dominated the glass, ripping down 25 offensive rebounds and turning them into 21 points, outrebounding the Falcons 54-46 overall in the game.  Following up on a school record 41 point performance on Wednesday, Downs torched the nets for 34 more on Saturday, the third best single game output in FSW history.  Lett chalked up her second straight double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds while Guthrie came up one rebound short of one of her own on her 20th birthday with 14 points and 9 boards.  
#15 FSW improves to 15-5 on the year with the win while Daytona State falls to 12-7. 
The Bucs are back in action at home on Wednesday when they host Elite Prep in a 5:30 start in Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.