LAKELAND, FL - Four players scored in double figures, and Florida Southern College women's basketball used its trademark stifling defense to roll past Barry, 72-57, in the semifinal round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament on Saturday at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (24-4) held the Buccaneers (19-11) to 30.2 percent from the floor to earn a trip to the SSC Championship game for the first time since 2011
Florida Southern will face Embry-Riddle at 4 p.m. on Sunday for the conference tournament title and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Mocs will look to avenge a pair of regular-season losses to the Eagles, who defeated Eckerd in the second semifinal game on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• The Moccasins and Buccaneers seemed evenly matched in the early part of the first quarter as Barry got out to a 6-4 lead with 7:01 to play. However, Florida Southern would amp up its defense and hold the Bucs to just two more points for the remainder of the period to take a 16-8 lead after one quarter of play. Barry made just 3-of-12 field-goal attempts in the first quarter, as the Mocs ended the period on a 12-2 run.
• Florida Southern carried the positive momentum into the early part of the second quarter as it snagged its first double-digit lead of the game (23-13) with 8:20 to go in the opening half. The Buccaneers were able to pull within three (25-22) with just over four minutes to go, but the Mocs again put the clamps on defensively and went on an 11-3 run to end the half and take a 36-25 lead into the locker room.
• The Mocs never saw their lead dip below double-digits in the third quarter, leading by as many as 20 points (50-30) late in the third. Although Barry was able to slice the deficit back to single digits (57-48) early in the fourth quarter, the outcome was never really in doubt as the Moccasins outscored the Bucs 18-17 in the final period en route to the win.
• Anja Fuchs-Robetin (19), Mercedez Claybrone (16), Jensen Blassage (15), and Camille Giardina (13) each scored in double figures. Claybrone finished with nine rebounds, while Fuchs-Robetin pulled down eight and dished out four assists. The Moccasins shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the floor and made 10-of-12 free-throw attempts, while Barry hit just 19-of-63 shots, including just 8-of-28 from long range.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 49-17 all-time against Barry, including a 4-1 record in the SSC Tournament. Although playing on their home floor, Saturday's game was considered a neutral-site contest for the Mocs, improving their neutral-site record to 3-2 all-time against the Buccaneers.
• The Moccasins are now 46-25 all-time in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament, including a 4-3 record under head coach Betsy Harris.
• Sunday's championship game will mark the 13th time that the Mocs have advanced to the SSC title game. Florida Southern is 3-5 all-time in the conference tournament championship game. FSC last won the SSC Tournament in 2011 when it defeated Florida Tech for the conference title.
• Florida Southern and Embry-Riddle will meet for the first time ever in the SSC Tournament with a conference title on the line. The Mocs and Eagles faced each other twice during the regular-season, with ERAU winning both matchups.