Big Second Half Propels Bucs Past Pirates

Shaniya Rose (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/
Shaniya Rose (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/
FORT MYERS, Fla.- As the old saying goes, it's not how you start, it's how you finish, and thankfully for the #17 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers, that saying came true on Sunday in Suncoast Credit Union Arena as after a slow start, the Bucs dug themselves out of an early hole with a big second half to defeat the Pensacola State Pirates 77-67 to conclude their action in the Bucs Club Classic. 
It was a good game early on as expected with Pensacola getting out to an early one point lead at 7-6 midway through the first quarter.  The Bucs went cold from there though, failing to put the ball in the basket for almost four minutes as Pensacola went on a 6-0 run to take a 13-6 lead with 2:30 remaining in the period.  A drive and score from Kiana Wilson at the first quarter horn cut into the Pirate lead, but the Bucs still found themselves in a five point hole at 18-13 after 10 minutes of action. 
The hot shooting of Macarena Retamales kept the Bucs within striking distance in the second and with 6:25 to go in the half a jumper from Julianna Gomez leveled the score at 26.  The Pirates retook a three point lead at 36-33 with 3:35 to go in the half, but FSW got the final five into the break to take a 38-36 into the locker rooms at half .  
The break didn't slow the Bucs momentum as FSW came out of the break scoring 17 of the first 19 points of the half to blow their lead wide open to 55-38 with 3:00 to go in the third.  Pensacola finally got their second field goal of the half at the 2:31 mark, but the Bucs coasted to the fourth with a 62-48 lead after a 24 point third quarter.  
The Bucs took their biggest lead of the game with 5:04 remaining after back to back baskets from Aaliyah Williams made it a 71-50 game.  FSW put it on cruise control from there with Pensacola making the final score respectable, but at the horn the Bucs painted it Purple and Aqua, taking the contest 77-67 to improve to 4-1 on the year. 
FSW hit on 50% of their field goal attempts in the contest while holding Pensacola to just 30% shooting. Retamales led the way with a 23 point, 14 rebound double-double while also picking off 5 steals and blocking 4 shots.  Williams backed up a career best 21 point performance from Saturday with another 21 point effort.  
The Bucs improve to 4-1 on the season with the victory while handing Pensacola their first loss of the year as the Pirates drop to 4-1. 
FSW will be back in action next Friday when they travel to Gainesville to take on the #16 Eastern Florida State Titans in a Top 20 matchup.