LAKELAND, FL - Four different players scored in double figures and Florida Southern College men's basketball set a season-high for points in a 103-92 victory over Florida Tech on Wednesday night at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 23 Moccasins (17-4, 10-3 SSC) scored 55 points in the first half to pick up their fourth-straight Sunshine State Conference win and avenge last month's loss to the Panthers (8-13, 2-11).
Jonathan Lawton led the way for the Mocs with 33 points, while Brett Hanson (23), Slinky Jones (14), and DeAndre Campbell (11) also scored in double figures. Florida Southern shot a season-high 53.4 percent (39-of-73) from the floor and outscored FIT 10-0 on the fastbreak to improve to 8-1 in its last nine games.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After both teams missed a shot on their first possessions of the game, Florida Tech struck first when Nieja Jordan hit a layup at the 19:17 mark of the first half, but it would turn out to be FIT's largest lead of the game as Jones hit a pair of free throws on the next possession to tie things up and Hanson gave the Mocs a 5-2 lead on a three-pointer with 18:36 on the clock.
- Florida Southern led 10-5 in the early stages, but the Panthers scored six in a row to go up by one (11-10) with 16:30 on the clock. Jones responded by drilling a three-pointer to put the Mocs back up by two (13-11) on the ensuing possession. Florida Tech hit a three to go back up by one at the 15:57 mark of the first half and the teams traded the lead several times over the next seven-plus minutes until Hanson's layup with 8:38 on the clock put the Moccasins up by three (31-28).
- Although the Panthers were able to draw even a number of times late in the first half, Florida Southern never fell behind and went up by three when Lawton hit a jumper through contact, drew the foul, and made a free-throw to make it 39-36 with just over four minutes to go in the first half. The Mocs would outscore Florida Tech 16-13 over the final four minutes to take a 55-49 lead into the locker room.
- A slow start to the second half allowed FIT to climb back into the game as the Panthers used a 10-2 run to take a 59-57 lead with 17:25 to play, but Florida Southern responded with seven-straight points to take the lead for good (65-59) with just under 16 minutes to go. The Mocs took their first double-digit lead of the game (80-69) with 9:38 to play and were really only tested one more time when the Panthers drew within five (90-85) with 4:02 to go. Lawton hit a jumper with 3:41 on the clock to put Southern back up by seven and the lead never dipped below six the rest of the way as the Moccasins picked up their eighth win in their last nine games.
- Lawton finished 11-of-20 from the floor, 4-of-9 from long range, and went 7-of-8 at the charity stripe. He also dished out nine assists and had four rebounds. Hanson tallied a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Jones also had a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards. Campbell's 11 points came on a 4-of-6 effort from the floor as he was the Mocs' top bench scorer.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 67-25 all-time against Florida Tech, including a 37-10 record when facing the Panthers at home. The Mocs improved to 13-1 at home this season and have won 10-straight home games.
- Hanson continued his ascent up the all-time scoring list at Florida Southern by pushing his career total to 1,318. He ranks 17th in school history in scoring. Hanson needs just 99 more points to move into the top 10 and is on pace to score more than 1,800 points in his career. Only four other Moccasins have ever surpassed 1,800 career points.
- Lawton increased his FSC scoring total to 1,160 to move into 21st in school history in scoring. He has scored a total of 1,723 points in his collegiate career after tallying 563 points in two seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas. He is 17th in career scoring among active NCAA Division II players and is on pace to set the Florida Southern school record for career scoring average with his 22.3 ppg.
- Florida Southern will take on Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach on Saturday before returning home for a Feb. 13 matchup with Palm Beach Atlantic.