LAKELAND, FL - A strong shooting performance in the fourth quarter helped Florida Southern College women's basketball overcome a slow start as it picked up its 12th-straight win, 60-56, over visiting Eckerd in Sunshine State Conference action on Wednesday at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 14 Moccasins (15-1, 8-0 SSC) went 7-of-10 from the floor in the final period to hold the Tritons (10-5, 5-3) to stay unbeaten in conference play.
Anja Fuchs-Robetin scored 24 points and Camille Giardina poured in 20 to lead the Mocs offensively. Mercedez Claybrone also came up huge with eight points off the bench, five in the fourth quarter, to give head coach Betsy Harris her 100th victory at the helm of the program.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 1st Quarter | Things got off to an ugly start for both teams, but especially for Florida Southern which shot just 23.1 percent (3-of-13) in the first quarter. Eckerd led by as many as five points (10-5) with just over three minutes left in the quarter, but the Moccasins closed out the period on a 6-2 run and trailed by just one (12-11) at the break.
- 2nd Quarter | After falling behind by three (14-11) early in the second quarter, the Mocs clawed back to go in front again (15-14) when Giardina hit a pair of free throws with 5:16 to go in the half. The Tritons answered with four-straight to go back up by three (18-15) just moments later, but Giardina drilled two threes in the final two minutes and Mackenzie Steele converted three free throws just before the half to give Southern a 25-22 halftime lead.
- 3rd Quarter | After Florida Southern took a 27-22 lead early in the third quarter, the Tritons rallied with back-to-back three-pointers that put them back on top (28-27) with 7:03 to go in the period. The teams would trade the lead several times over the next few minutes, but Florida Southern ultimately went on a late 8-3 run that put it back on top by seven (41-34) at the end of the third.
- 4th Quarter | Eckerd was able to stay within striking distance in the fourth quarter, but the Moccasin offense came alive as it scored 19 points and shot 70.0 percent from the floor. Claybrone came up huge in the fourth when she hit a jumper from just inside the arc at the 5:51 mark to make it 50-43, and nailed a layup on the next FSC possession to make it 52-45. The Mocs led by eight points (57-49) with less than two minutes to go, but the Tritons went on a 7-2 run to pull within three (59-56) in the final 20 seconds. It would be too little, too late as the Florida Southern defense forced a huge turnover and Fuchs-Robetin hit a key free throw in the closing seconds to seal the win.
- Fuchs-Robetin finished 6-of-10 from the floor and 11-of-12 a the charity stripe. She grabbed nine rebounds, tallied two assists, two steals, and a block. Giardina went 7-of-13 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from long range, as the Moccasins shot 39.1 percent on the night but held Eckerd to just 38.2 percent.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 74-15 all-time against Eckerd, including 37-5 when facing the Tritons at home. Harris pushed her career coaching record to 168-63, including a 100-36 mark with the Moccasins. She is the fourth head coach in FSC history to win 100 games at the helm of the program, and currently has the highest winning percentage (.735) of any head coach in program history.
- The Moccasins' 12-game winning streak is their second-best under Harris. Florida Southern won 15 games in a row last season.
- Giardina pushed her career scoring total to 1,550 and needs 236 more to move into sixth in school history in career scoring. Fuchs-Robetin now has 1,337 points to move into 11th in school history. She needs just 31 more points to move into the top 10 in program history.
- Florida Southern heads to Rollins on Saturday before returning home to take on Saint Leo on Jan. 23. The Moccasins end the month with a road contest at Tampa (Jan. 30).