LAKELAND, FL - Anja Fuchs-Robetin scored a career-high 29 points, but Florida Southern College women's basketball was unable to hang on in a 72-70 loss to visiting Embry-Riddle on Wednesday night at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (7-3, 3-2 SSC) led by three points at the half, but a strong fourth-quarter by the Eagles (7-1, 3-1) proved to be the difference as ERAU squeaked by for a Sunshine State Conference victory.
Embry-Riddle was able to shoot 60.0 percent in the fourth quarter to overcome a late seven-point deficit and remain in a four-way tie atop the conference standings. Florida Southern returns to action on Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. against Lewis in the Mocs' final game of the calendar year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• After a sloppy start for both teams, Florida Southern got on the board first when Camille Giardina hit a layup with 8:28 to play in the first quarter as the Mocs jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Moccasins would extend their lead to as many as 10 points (15-5) in the opening period, but Embry-Riddle closed out the quarter on a 12-5 run to cut the deficit to just three points (20-17) at the first break.
• In the second quarter, the Mocs scored the first four points to go up 24-17, but the Eagles were able to battle back and took their first lead of the game (27-26) with 5:39 left in the first half. ERAU would extend its lead to 30-26 with just over five minutes to go, but Florida Southern came back to tie things at 30-30 when Fuchs-Robetin connected on a layup with 4:23 on the clock. The teams would trade habs for the remainder of the second quarter, and the Mocs took a 38-35 lead into the locker room.
• Florida Southern was able to maintain its lead throughout the third quarter and took a 53-48 advantage into the final quarter of play. After Jensen Blassage scored to make it 55-48 to start the fourth quarter, Embry-Riddle would mount its comeback. The Eagles would hold the Moccasins scoreless for more than three minutes as they took a 56-55 lead with 7:02 left to play. The teams would again trade jabs for the remainder of the game until ERAU gained some separation at 71-67 with just under two minutes to go. Fuchs-Robetin connected from long range on the next possession to make it 71-70 and give the Mocs new life, but it was all the closer they could get as Embry-Riddle made one late free throw and one final defensive stand to come away with the win.
• The Moccasins shot 49.2 percent (31-of-63) from the floor, while the Eagles connected on 51.0 percent (25-of-49) of their shots. Florida Southern went 5-of-10 from beyond the arc but made just 3-of-7 free-throw attempts, while ERAU hit 8-of-18 from long range and 14-of-18 at the charity stripe. The Mocs finished with a 33-29 edge in rebounds, including 13-6 on the offensive glass.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern fell to 4-2 all-time against Embry-Riddle, including 3-1 when facing the Eagles at home. ERAU entered the week as a team receiving votes in the latest WBCA Coaches Poll. The Moccasins outscored the Eagles 46-26 in the paint, and both teams scored 14 points off turnovers.
• Fuchs-Robetin's career-high 29 points came on 13-of-19 shooting. She has scored 20 or more points in six games this year and has shot better 60.0 percent or better in seven of the team's 10 games to this point in the year. She also snagged a game-high 13 rebounds to record her fifth double-double of the season.
• Blassage finished with eight points to push her career total to 1,067. She currently ranks 17th in school history in career scoring and needs 13 more points to move into 16th place. Giardina finished with 14 points to finish in double figures for the sixth-straight game and the ninth time overall this season.
• Florida Southern closes out the calendar year against Lewis at 2 p.m. on Dec. 16. The Moccasins return to Sunshine State Conference action at Florida Tech on Jan. 3 and are back home for the first time in 2018 when they face Lynn on Jan. 6.