Mocs Pick Up First Win After Downing Young Harris
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. - Powered by a trio of players scoring in the double-digits, including a career-high 22 from guard Cashala Thompson (Tucson, Ariz.), the Moccasins picked up their first victory of the 2013-14 season with a 75-64 win over Young Harris at the YHC Basketball Arena.
The Mocs and Mountain Lions traded points throughout the early moments of the first half before six unanswered FSC points from senior guard Taylor Maldonado (Stroudsburg, Pa.), freshman forward Christin Strawbridge (Lakeland, Fla.) and sophomore forward Mariah Harris (Gainesville, Fla.) put the Mocs up 18-12 with just under 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
Young Harris took a one-point lead at 8:27 off a layup by junior center Peyton Robertson, and again at 6:47 after a three-pointer from junior guard Keta Robinette, before Florida Southern retook the lead with a 13-2 run that featured two of Thompson's five first half three pointers.
The Mountain Lions cut their deficit to three after scoring five consecutive points, but another Thompson three brought the lead back to six before a jumper from senior forward Ledondra Johnson brought Young Harris to within four to end the first half.
Thompson was red-hot from downtown, hitting five of her six three-point attempts in 17 minutes of play. Strawbridge also added eight points on four field goals, while Harris pulled down four rebounds and dished out four assists in the first half.
Picking up where she left off, Thompson drilled a trey to give Florida Southern a seven point lead to open the second half. A jumper from sophomore guard Ali Sanders (Sleepy Hollow, Ill.), followed by a three-pointer from Maldonado, put the Mocs up 10 early in the half.
Four consecutive points from Johnson brought the Mountain Lions to within six before Thompson hit her seventh three of the game, sparking a run of 15 unanswered points to put the Mocs up by 22, their largest lead of the game, with 10:21 to go in the game.
Young Harris went on a 12-2 run of their own to pull to within 11 before FSC scored six straight points to widen their lead to 17 with 5:10 remaining in the game.
The Mountain Lions continued to battle back, going on an 11-2 run to pull to within eight, before Florida Southern scored five of the next six points to give put the game out of reach.
Maldonado was second on the team in scoring with 13 points, while Strawbridge added 12 points and five rebounds. Harris put up nine points while pulling down a season-high seven boards and dishing seven assists.
Despite coming away with the win, the Mocs turned the ball over 23 times to Young Harris' 16, with 14 FSC turnovers coming in the second half. Although they lost the turnover battle, the Mocs did outscore the Mountain Lions in points off turnovers, 21-20. Florida Southern's bench also scored 21 points to Young Harris' 12.
Johnson led the Mountain Lions with 31 points, the most points allowed by a single player against the Moccasins this season, while grabbing 17 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jenna Thompson was next in points and rebounds, putting up 10 and six, respectively.
The Moccasins open the home portion of the schedule on Sunday, Nov. 24, when they welcome Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras to Jenkins Field House for a 2 p.m. game.