LAKELAND, FL - Anja Fuchs-Robetin and Camille Giardina combined for 55 points, and Florida Southern College women's basketball outscored Barry 23-9 in the second quarter in an 89-71 victory on Wednesday in the quarterfinal round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 17 Moccasins (26-3) secured a spot in the SSC Tournament semifinals for the fourth straight year by defeating the Buccaneers (10-19) for the third time this season.
Giardina scored a game-high 30 points, including 23 in the second half, while Fuchs-Robetin had 25. Mercedez Claybrone and Bekki Kalaydjiev each had 11 points, and the Mocs knocked down 10-of-20 (50.0 percent) from beyond the arc. With the win, Florida Southern advances to the SSC Tournament semifinal and will face No. 4 seed Nova Southeastern at 12 p.m. on Saturday at NSU's Rick Case Arena, the site of the semifinals and finals of this year's conference tournament.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 1st Quarter | Florida Southern got off to a relatively quick start thanks to an 8-4 lead in the first four minutes of action, but went cold midway through the first quarter and allowed Barry to use a 14-5 run to jump out to an 18-13 advantage with 1:19 to go in the period. The Bucs would lead 21-19 after the first quarter as Giardina was held to just one point, but thankfully for the Mocs, Fuchs-Robetin tallied 10.
- 2nd Quarter | The tide turned in the second quarter as the Mocs showcased their signature lockdown defense by holding the Buccaneers to just nine points on 2-of-11 from the floor while connecting on 9-of-16 shots. Trailing 23-22 early in the second, Florida Southern went on a 15-3 run to take its first double-digit lead of the game (37-26) on Fuchs-Robetin's layup at the 2:27 mark of the first half. The Mocs scored four more points over the remaining two minutes and took a 41-30 lead into the locker room
- 3rd Quarter | The Mocs got hot offensively in the third quarter by scoring 28 points on 11-of-20 from the floor. Although Barry connected on 9-of-15 shots and scored 22 points in the period, Southern never led by less than 10 and took a 69-52 lead into the fourth.
- 4th Quarter | Florida Southern would lead by as many as 19 points (81-62) in the fourth quarter as Giardina caught fire and scored 14 points in the fourth. It would prove to be more than enough as the Mocs cruised to the win and kept their hopes for a second-straight SSC Tournament title alive.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 52-17 all-time against Barry, including a 30-4 mark when facing the Buccaneers in Lakeland. The Mocs are now 48-25 all-time in the SSC Tournament and are 16-7 in the quarterfinals. Wednesday's game marked the 38th-straight year that the Moccasins have played in the SSC Tournament.
- With the win, the Mocs are still in position to capture a second-straight SSC Tournament title. It would be the first time since the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons that the Mocs have won back-to-back tournament titles.
- Florida Southern will face No. 4 seed Nova Southeastern on Saturday at 12 p.m. at NSU's Rick Case Arena for the right to advance to the SSC Tournament title game. The winner of Saturday's semifinal will face either Eckerd or Rollins at Sunday at 1:05 p.m. for the SSC Tournament championship. Sunday's title game will be featured on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.