Shaffer's Big Game Saves Bucs Against Miami Dade

Makenna Shaffer (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/
Makenna Shaffer (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Trailing by 13 against Miami Dade midway through the third quarter, the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers turned to freshman Makenna Shaffer Saturday afternoon in Suncoast Credit Union Arena and the rookie delivered, pouring in 18 of her game high 21 points in the final 12 minutes to lead FSW to a 44-39 come from behind victory in Citrus Conference play. 
The Bucs got off to a good start playing at home for the first time in four games, jumping out to a 10-3 lead on the Sharks just four minutes in.  But they went cold from there, going scoreless over the final 5:50 of the first quarter as their lead shrunk to two, 10-8 at the end of one period of play. 
The drought followed them into the second as they managed just two points over the first 9:12 of the quarter as Miami Dade erased the Bucs lead and took a 21-12 lead of their own with under a minute left until the half. FSW got the final four points of the quarter, but found themselves in a 21-16 hole at the end of 20 minutes of action. 
It was a struggle for both sides in the first half as FSW shot 18% from the field while Miami Dade was just a tick better at 19%.  
For the second straight game, the Bucs couldn't buy a bucket as the second half began as they didn't get their first field goal until the 5:33 mark on a jumper by Sarah Owona while Miami Dade extended their lead to 29-17. The Sharks took their largest lead of the game with 2:34 to go in the third when they went up 32-19 and FSW looked like they were in trouble with just three field goals over the last 23:22.  Makenna Shaffer hit a three with 2:27 left in the quarter to start the comeback and popped another one a minute later to cut the deficit back to single digits.  An offensive rebound and putback from Shaffer late in the period gave her eight straight for FSW and made it a 33-27 game at the end of three quarters of play. 
Shaffer came out of the break with another triple to make it a three point game and made a free throw and her fifth three of the game to give the Bucs their first lead since the first quarter at 34-33 with 7:16 to go. Roksana Sajdak and Lisa Le Roy got buckets to give FSW their first points from anyone but Shaffer in over 10 minutes to put the Bucs up 40-35 and a big and-one from Owona with under 30 seconds to go put it on ice for the Purple and Aqua.  Le Roy knocked down a free throw with under a second left on the clock to put the exclamation point on it as the Bucs completed the comeback for a 44-39 win.  
Shaffer scored 18 of her game high 21 points in the final 12 minutes of the contest, chalking up a double-double as she also tallied a team best 11 rebounds in the win. 
The Bucs won despite shooting just 23% from the field, their lowest shooting percentage in a game in program history. They did so in part thanks to a dominating performance on the glass where they outrebounded Miami Dade 55-42 including 17 offensive rebounds that turned into 12 points. 
FSW improves to 10-8 overall and 6-4 in Citrus Conference play with the win while Miami Dade falls to 3-14 overall and 2-8 in league play. 
The Bucs return home on Wednesday when they host Indian River in a big Citrus Conference matchup beginning at 5 PM in Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.