Bucs Battered By Red Hot Titans

Photo by Joe Mestas/JoeMestas.com
Photo by Joe Mestas/JoeMestas.com
MELBOURNE, Fla.- The Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers picked the wrong time to have an off night on Thursday as FSW was manhandled in the second half to the tune of a 74-38 loss to a red hot #15 Eastern Florida State team who earned their 15th consecutive win in the victory. 
Things started just like the Bucs drew it up as they got a stop on Eastern's first possession of the game and Makenna Shaffer nailed a three from the top of the key on the Bucs first trip down the floor to give them the early lead.  Unfortunately for the Bucs, they wouldn't score again for the next nine minutes, missing their next 10 field goal attempts as the Titans raced out to a 12-6 lead.  A late three from Roksana Sajdak ended the drought, but after one it was all Eastern Florida, leading it 14-6.  
With the shots not falling, the Bucs worked their way inside and got to the free throw line enough to keep them in the game in the second, cutting the Eastern Florida lead to just four at 16-12 after Shaffer hit a pair of free throws 3:30 into the quarter.  Eastern built their lead back to 10 late in the second, but Sarah Owona and Kiana Wilson knocked down jumpers before the buzzer, getting the Bucs back to within six at 29-23 at the break. 
As bad as things were offensively in the first half for the Bucs, it was just the tip of the iceberg for what was to come in the second.  FSW went scoreless for the first 8:21 of the third quarter as they missed their first 15 shots until Owona finally connected with 1:39 to go in the period.  The Titans didn't have the same struggle, ballooning their lead to 29 in the meantime before taking a 56-29 lead at the end of three. 
The brightest spot of the night for the Bucs came to start the fourth quarter where they equaled their third quarter production in just 2:05, hitting their first three shots of the period to cut the Eastern lead to 58-35.  The Titans would get the next 13 points though, opening up their biggest lead of the night at 36 before going on to take it 74-38 at the final horn. 
It was a historically off night for the Bucs offense as their 13 field goals made were an all-time low while their 24% shooting and 38 points on the night were the second lowest marks in program history.  All nine Bucs that played in the game found their way into the scoring column and had at least one rebound, led by Shaffer's team high 7 points and 9 boards.  
FSW drops their second straight to fall to 9-8 overall and 5-4 in Citrus Conference play while Eastern wins their 15th in a row to up their record to 16-3 overall while staying perfect at 11-0 in conference action. 
The Bucs will look to get back on track Saturday when they return home from a three game road swing to take on Miami Dade in a 2 PM tip in Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.