LAKELAND, FL - Anja Fuchs-Robetin came up with a huge block at the end of the first overtime and Florida Southern College women's basketball was able to outlast Eckerd, 85-78, in a double-overtime victory on Wednesday night at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (17-3, 12-2 SSC) picked up their 10th-straight win and remained atop the Sunshine State Conference standings while the Tritons (15-6, 9-5) had their four-game win streak snapped.
After Eckerd sent things to overtime with a last-second jumper in regulation, the teams would battle through a pair of overtimes before the Mocs finally came out on top. With the score tied at 72-72 and time winding down in the first extra period, Fuchs-Robetin blocked Chelsea Johnson's would-be game-winner, and Florida Southern outscored Eckerd 13-6 in the second overtime to earn a hard-fought victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern looked as if it might run away and hide after racing out to an 8-0 lead in the first five minutes of the first quarter. The Mocs led by as many as 12 points (18-6) in the final two minutes of the opening period, and led by 11 (20-9) heading into the second quarter.
• Although the Moccasins remained in front for the entire second quarter, the Tritons were able to claw their way back into contention by hitting a late three-pointer to turn an 11-point deficit into single digits (34-26) just before halftime.
• In the third quarter, Florida Southern looked to be in complete control with a 16-point lead (44-28) at the 6:42 mark of the period. However, Eckerd reeled off a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to pull within four (46-42) at the 3:22 mark of the third, and trailed by just three (52-49) heading into the fourth quarter.
• The Mocs were able to hold onto the lead until the closing moments of regulation. After Jirah Ards hit 1-of-2 free throws with 11 seconds on the clock, the Tritons were able to tie things up (64-64) when Johnson connected with 0.7 seconds remaining. After taking a timeout to advance the ball past halfcourt, Jensen Blassage fired a beautiful inbound pass to Fuchs-Robetin under the basket, but her tip-in attempt came up just short as the contest went to overtime.
• Neither team was able to gain any real edge in the first overtime. Eckerd led by three points (69-66) with 2:11 to go, but Camille Giardina hit a jumper and was fouled on the Tritons' ensuing inbound attempt, which gave her a pair of free throws to put FSC up by one (70-69). After Eckerd scored with just under a minute to go to take a 72-70 lead, Fuchs-Robetin was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to tie things up. The Tritons were able to get the ball back with 24 seconds to go after a Fuchs-Robetin turnover, but she made up for it on the defensive end as she came up with a block on Johnson's jumper at the buzzer to send things to a second overtime.
• In the final period of play, the Mocs found themselves behind early on (75-74) but left no doubt as the closed out the game on an 11-3 run to win their 10th-straight game and stay one game ahead of Embry-Riddle in the SSC standings.
• Giardina scored a career-high 34 points while making 6-of-9 three-point attempts and tallying five steals. Fuchs-Robetin tallied her 12th double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Mercedez Claybrone added 10 points and Elsa Landberg had seven off the bench.
• The Moccasins shot 43.1 percent (28-of-65) from the floor while Eckerd hit 50.0 percent (30-of-60) of its shots. Florida Southern connected on 8-of-18 three-point attempts and went an impressive 21-of-27 at the charity stripe. The Mocs were outrebounded 43-30, but forced 26 turnovers and scored 30 points off turnovers.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 73-15 all-time against Eckerd, including 36-5 when facing the Tritons at home. Moccasin head coach Betsy Harris improved her career record to 146-60 and needs just four wins to hit 150 for her career.
• Giardina's 34 points are the most for a Moccasin since Jan. 27, 2010, when Michaela Hawley scored 38 in a 99-93 overtime win against Nova Southeastern. She also improved her career scoring total to 1,062 to move into 18th place in program history in career scoring.
• Fuchs-Robetin moved closer to 1,000 career points by upping her career total to 903. She is on pace to become the third different Moccasin to hit 1,000 career points this year, joining Giardina and Jensen Blassage.
• Florida Southern's 10 game winning streak is its best since 2010-11, when the Mocs won 11 in a frow from Feb. 5-March 11 before falling to Delta State in the second round of the NCAA South Regional.
• History was made at Jenkins Field House on Wednesday night as the men's basketball game also went to overtime, marking the first time in Florida Southern history that both basketball programs played overtime games on the same day.
• Florida Southern plays host to Barry on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. before heading to Rollins on Feb. 7.