MELBOURNE, FL - After nearly a month off, Florida Southern College women's basketball showed no rust in an 80-57 blowout of Florida Tech on Wednesday at the Clemente Center. The Moccasins (9-3, 4-2 SSC) led for nearly the entire game to pick up their first win of the New Year and snap the Panthers' (6-6, 3-3) two-game winning streak.
Camille Giardina poured in a season-high 23 points while Anja Fuchs-Robetin notched another double-double, her seventh of the season, and three other players scored in double figures to lead the Mocs to the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern fell behind early in the first two minutes of action as Florida Tech got out to a 5-2 lead, but it was short-lived for the Panthers as the Moccasins got back-to-back layups from Fuchs-Robetin to take a 6-5 lead with 7:58 to go in the first quarter and never trailed again.
• The Mocs grabbed their first double-digit lead of the night (22-12) when Giardina nailed a pair of free throws with one minute to play in the first, and limited Florida Tech to just 11 points in the second quarter en route to a 39-23 halftime lead.
• FSC did not let up in the second half as Mercedez Claybrone put the Mocs up by 20 (45-25) with 7:20 to go in the third, and Florida Southern would extend its lead to 26 points (51-25) when Jensen Blassage nailed a jumper at the 6:16 mark. The Panthers would mount a small run over the next six minutes of action to pull within 12 (51-39), but the Moccasins ended the third quarter on a 9-2 run to take a commanding 60-41 lead into the fourth quarter.
• In the fourth quarter, Florida Southern shot 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from the floor and limited the Panthers to just 30.0 percent (3-of-10) to close things out for their second-straight win and start the New Year on a high note.
• The Moccasins shot 46.9 percent (23-of-49) from the floor on the night while limiting Florida Tech to just 35.3 percent (18-of-51). The Mocs also performed well at the free-throw line, connecting on 27-of-35 attempts while the Panthers converted just 16-of-27. FSC finished with a 39-30 edge in rebounds and forced the Panthers into 20 turnovers.
INSIDE THE NUMBER
• Florida Southern improved to 41-38 all-time against Florida Tech, including a 13-19 mark when facing the Panthers in Melbourne. The Mocs have won three of the last four meetings in the series after dropping seven in a row from 2014-16.
• Giardina scored 20 points for the sixth time this season and increased her career scoring total to 895 points. She needs 105 points to become the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. Blassage increased her career point total to 1,078 and needs just one more point to tie Tasha Smith for 16th in school history.
• Fuchs-Robetin notched her seventh double-double of the season. She entered the year with four career double-doubles and has compiled the most double-doubles (7) in a season since Michaela Hawley posted nine in 2011-12.
• The Moccasins outscored the Panthers 28-18 in the paint and 14-4 on the fast break. Florida Southern's starters outscored Florida Tech's starting five by a 68-26 margin as the FIT bench was responsible for 31 of the team's points.
• Florida Southern returns home on Saturday to face Lynn at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of a men's and women's basketball doubleheader. The Mocs will play five of their next eight games at home.