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Giardina, Claybrone lead FSC in 70-64 Win Over Lee at SSC/GSC Challenge

Mercedez Claybrone
Mercedez Claybrone

SAINT LEO, FL - Camille Giardina netted 18 points, including 16-of-19 free throws, to lead four players in double figures as 17th ranked Florida Southern opened the 2018-19 season with a 70-64 victory over Lee in the SSC/GSC Challenge played here Friday in the Marion Bowman Activities Center on the campus of Saint Leo University.

Mercedez Claybrone connected on 7-of-8 field goals to add 16 points for the Moccasins while Anja Fuchs-Robetin and Mackenzie Steele contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. Fuchs-Robetin also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to record her 19th career double-double.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Lee (0-1) scored the game's first points on a layup by Haley Schubert, but Florida Southern got two free throws each from Fuchs-Robetin and Giardina to take a 4-2 lead, a lead they would hold onto until 4:37 left in the game. The Moccasins extended their lead to eight points twice in the opening period, the last being a 19-11 margin on back-to-back three-pointers by Julia Jenike and Steele. For Steele, it was the second trey of the period, giving her a team-high six points in the opening stanza.
  • Florida Southern kept Lee at bay in the second period, never letting the Flames get any closer than four points. The Moccasins ran their lead to 10 points, 31-21, with 4:25 left in the half on a pair of free throws by Giardina. Claybrone did the most damage for FSC with a pair of field goals and a three-pointer for seven second-quarter points.
  • The Moccasins opened the second half on a 10-2 run with half the points coming at the charity stripe. After a basket by Lee's Taylor Boggess, Florida Southern scored six unanswered points to grab a 17-point lead, 48-31, with 4:46 remaining in the third period. The two teams traded baskets over next 3:28 before Becca Cheeks scored five straight points for Lee to close the period and cut the Mocs' margin to 11, 55-44, with one period left to play.
  • Lee continued the momentum to open the fourth quarter, scoring 13 unanswered points (eight coming off free throws) to take the lead, 57-55, on a pair of free throws from Boggess. Giardina added two free throws to tie the game at 57 while Jirah Ards added a free throw of her own for a 58-57 Moccasin lead. However, the Flames weren't finished, taking the lead back and then holding off Florida Southern for a 64-61 lead with 1:50 left. Ard pulled FSC within one, 64-63, with a lay-up while Fuchs-Robetin added two more free throws and a lay-up to put the Mocs ahead by three before Giardina connected on three more charity stripe shots to close out the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Florida Southern improves to 5-2 all-time against Lee and now sports a 6-1 record in the SSC/GSC Challenge over the last four seasons.
  • Giardina's 18 points give her 1,303 for her career, leaving her 25 points shy of tying Nanci Parks (1986-89) for 12th place on FSC's all-time scoring list. Fuchs-Robetin's 13 points give her 1,083 for her career to move her into 18th place passing Tasha Smith, who had 1,079 points from 1997-2000. Next for the senior is Antonia Newman (1999-2001, 2003) who ranks 17th with 1,164 points.
  • With 10 rebounds in today's game, Fuchs-Robetin jumps over three players to land in 11th place with 643. She needs 57 more to tie Allison Gerdeman (1992-96) for 10th place. Her nine free throws made today move her into FSC's all-time top ten with 321 for her career.
  • Florida Southern was 28-of-40 from the free throw line for 70 percent. The Mocs shot 34.6 percent from the field while the Flames shot 36.8 and made 17-of-21 free throws. Florida Southern also out-rebounded Lee, 44-35. Both teams turned the ball over 21 times.
  • Ards added seven points and five steals for Florida Southern.

UP NEXT

  • Florida Southern wraps up play in the SSC/GSC Challenge with a 1 p.m. game Saturday against Shorter. That game is also played at Saint Leo University. The Moccasins will open their home season on Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. against the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.