MIAMI SHORES, Fla. - A 22-point scoring outburst in the fourth quarter helped erase a double-digit deficit as Florida Southern College women's basketball rallied past Barry, 59-54, on Saturday afternoon in Sunshine State Conference action at Cesar Odio Court. The Moccasins (4-2, 2-0 SSC) outscored the Buccaneers (1-2, 0-1) 22-10 over the final 10 minutes of action to pick up their second-straight win.
Mackenzie Steele led the Mocs with 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Southern went a perfect 11-of-11 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to top the Bucs for the ninth-straight time. Florida Southern will hit the road next week for a pair of games at the MWSU Thanksgiving Classic in St. Joseph, Mo. when it faces Northwest Missouri State (Nov. 29) and Missouri Western State (Nov. 30).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 1st Quarter | Florida Southern got off to a slow start and found itself behind 4-0 in the opening two minutes as it was held without a bucket until Bekki Kalaydjiev hit a layup at the 7:33 mark of the opening quarter. Neither squad was able to muster much offensively as it wasn't until a Barry free-throw at the 3:38 mark until a team got to 10 points as the Bucs took a 10-7 lead. Harriet Swindells connected from long range in the closing seconds of the quarter, and Barry took a 13-9 lead into the second.
- 2nd Quarter | Trailing by seven (19-12) with 6:55 to go in the first half, the Moccasins mounted a 9-2 run to tie things at 21-21 on Julia Jenike's three-pointer with 2:46 left in the second quarter. It would be Southern's last score of the half, however, as the Buccaneers held the Mocs without a point the rest of the way and took a 28-21 lead into the locker room at the half.
- 3rd Quarter | Both teams again struggled on offense to begin the second half as they combined for just 19 points over the first four and a half minutes of the third quarter. Florida Southern was able to slice the deficit to just four (36-32) on Elsa Landberg's three with 5:46 to go in the third, but Barry scored eight of the next 10 points to take its largest lead of the day (44-34) at the 1:24 mark of the quarter. Monet Burkett drilled a shot from long range with 32 seconds remaining in the third to make it 44-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
- 4th Quarter | After struggling to find their offensive rhythm for the majority of the afternoon, the Moccasins would find a groove in the fourth quarter thanks in part to a perfect 11-of-11 at the charity stripe. Trailing by eight (50-42) with 5:30 to go in the game, Florida Southern used an 11-0 run to go on top by three (53-50) when Steele hit two free throws with 1:44 on the clock, and the Mocs scored six points in the final 30 seconds to complete the comeback.
- Steele scored seven of her game-high 12 points in the fourth quarter, going a perfect 4-of-4 at the free-throw line. Landberg also went 4-of-4 at the charity stripe in the fourth. Each team grabbed 44 rebounds, but the big difference came from the bench, where Florida Southern outscored Barry 31-9.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 53-17 all-time against Barry, including a 21-11 record when facing the Bucs on the road. The Moccasins have won nine-straight in the all-time series.
- Moccasin head coach Betsy Harris took another step toward her 200th career win by picking up the 185th win of her coaching career. She is 11941 at Florida Southern and went 68-27 in three seasons at Coastal Georgia. Harris is already the third-winningest coach in Florida Southern history, trailing only Norm Benn (250 wins) and Diane Foli (170).
- The Mocs trailed for more than 35 minutes in the game and did not take their first lead until Ashley Shell's layup at the 2:16 mark of the fourth quarter.
- Florida Southern will head to Saint Joseph, Mo. next week for a pair of games at the MWSU Thanksgiving Classic. The Mocs will face Northwest Missouri State on Nov. 29 and Missouri Western State on Nov. 30. The Moccasins are home four times in December with SSC contests against Saint Leo (Dec. 4) and Lynn (Dec. 14) before closing out the calendar year with non-conference games against Lindenwood (Dec. 19) and Drury (Dec. 20) at the Terrace Hotel Classic.