Newcomers Make Immediate Impact As Mocs Win Opener
Newcomers Emma Cannon and Taylor Maldonado made an immediate impact, as they combined for 38 points to lead the Moccasins to a 77-71 win over the University of Mary (N.D.) in their season opener at the Saint Leo Sleep Inn Classic Friday night.
Cannon, a transfer from Central Florida, collected a double-double in her FSC debut with a game-high 22 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Maldonado, a freshman, added 16 points, including four three-pointers, and six assists.
The Moccasins jumped out to an early 10-point lead in the first five minutes of the game and were still up by 10 at halftime, 42-32. In the second half, an 11-6 spurt in the first four minutes gave the Moccasins their biggest margin of the game, 53-38. The Marauders started chipping away at the lead from that point and trimmed it to four at 53-49 with 14:27 remaining. Mary actually took a brief lead, 61-59, with 7:39 to go, but Tanja Speaker's three-pointer gave the lead back to FSC with 7:16 left and the Moccasins maintained it the rest of the way.
In addition to Cannon and Maldonado scoring in double figures, Speaker had 12 points and Megan Dzikas added 11, while handing out eight assists and grabbing eight rebounds.
Chelsea Johnson, who had started 84 consecutive games in her first three seasons at FSC, did not start for the first time in her career. She's been hampered by a leg injury and played just 17 minutes and did not score.
The Moccasins shot 36.1% from the field for the game and connected on 12 of 31 three-pointers. They were 13 of 22 from the free throw line. Their final eight points in the game all came from the free throw line in the last 1:24.
Mary was led by Shaunna Knife, who scored 18 points and collected 13 rebounds. The Marauders shot 37.7% from the field, made nine of 29 three-pointers and were 10-14 from the free throw line.
The Moccasins play Armstrong Atlantic, which lost Friday to Saint Leo 67-63, Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Saint Leo Sleep Inn Classic.