At the half: How the Mocs look for the remainder of the season

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Reems Landreth

MEN’S BASKETBALL

The No. 22 Florida Southern College men’s basketball team started the 2018-2019 season with the best start (12-3) since the 36-1 season set by the 2014-2015 National Championship team.

After losing their pre-season exhibition matchup against the University of Florida, the Mocs rebounded, winning nine of their opening 10 matchups. Southern faltered on their first Sunshine Stave Conference road trip as they fell to No. 5 Nova Southeastern  and Florida Tech in back-to-back contests. The Mocs righted the ship as they are currently on a three game win streak featuring an overtime win against Lynn and back-to-back 14 point road victories over Palm Beach Atlantic and Barry. 

Florida Southern is currently 12-3 on the season and tied for third in the SSC with a 5-2 record. The Mocs only conference losses are to NSU and Florida Tech, who currently rank first and tenth in the conference, respectively. 

Southern is averaging almost 80 points per game over the first half of the season highlighted by a season-high 99 point victory over Lindenwood on Dec. 15. 

As senior Jonathon Lawton eclipses the halfway mark of his second and final season season in a Moccasin uniform, he continues to lead Southern in the scoring tally. During this current season, Lawton has increased his scoring percentage across the board by an average of 4.2 percent compared to last season. 

Lawton became the 43rd player in school history to record at least 1,000 career points at Florida Southern. His 1,000th point came during the first half of the contest against Palm Beach Atlantic in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Jan. 9. He currently ranks 17th in career scoring and fourth in three pointers made (252) among all active NCAA Division II players. 

Junior Brett Hanson has moved into the 1,000 point club as the 42nd play in history, and currently sits in the top of 20 all time. He needs just over 200 points to move into the all-time top 10 and is on pace to finish his career at Southern with over 1,800 career points.

As the Mocs head into the second half of the season, Southern is faced with a slate of conference foes including powerhouses Nova Southeastern  and Lynn, rivals Tampa and Rollins, and the NCAA Division II Showcase matchup against Eckerd, which will be aired on ESPN 3. 

Florida Southern will take on the University of Tampa in Tampa on Jan. 30 before coming home to take on No. 4 Nova Southeastern on Feb. 2. The Mocs will also take on No. 21 Lynn on Feb. 16 in Boca Raton, Fla. before heading to St. Petersburg, Fla. to take on Eckerd on Feb. 20. Southern will end the regular season against Rollins on March 2 in Jenkins Field House. 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The No. 15 Florida Southern College women’s basketball team started the 2018-2019 season with the best start (14-1) since the 2015-2016 team who also recorded a 14-1 start. That team recorded a 27-6 season and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight where they eventually lost to Lubbock Christian University.

The women stormed out of the gates to a 3-0 start of the season, including a 116-48 win over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez  before dropping their first and only loss of the season to date against Le Moyne University at the Eckerd Thanksgiving Classic. Since then, the Mocs have gone on an 11 game win streak, including 7 straight conference wins, to record the best record in the Sunshine State Conference. 

Southern set four school records in the win over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez including most points in a half (75), previously set at 66 in a 1978 contest vs. Eckerd. The Mocs also set a record for most points in a quarter (40), most made three-pointers (17), and most points (116). 

Senior Camille Giardina has taken a small step back this season, shooting just 17.5 points per game compared to 2017-2018 where she averaged nearly 20 per game (19.9). On the other hand, Giardina has increased her assists per game and rebounds per game by nearly 50 percent each. 

Senior Anja Fuchs-Robetin started off the season slowly, scoring an average of 12.1 points per game over her first 7 games. Fuchs-Robetin turned her season around just before the winter break as she put up 22 in a Dec. 17 win over Saginaw Valley State. Since this turnaround, she has scored an average of 22.6 points per game, including a season high 30 points at Palm Beach Atlantic on Jan. 9. 

Freshman Mackenzie Steele has started off the season shooting nearly 10 points per game, including recording seven double-digit performances, highlighted by a career high 21 points on Nov. 24 against Daemen College. 

As the Mocs head into the second half of the season, Southern is faced with a slate of conference foes including a two-loss Lynn squad,  Nova Southeastern and Lynn, rivals Tampa and Rollins, and the NCAA Division II Showcase matchup against Eckerd, which will be aired on ESPN 3. 

Florida Southern will take the University of Tampa in Tampa on Jan. 30 before coming home to take on two-loss Lynn University on Feb. 16 in Boca Raton, Fla.. The Mocs will then head to St. Petersburg, Fla. to take on Eckerd College on Feb. 20 before ending the regular season against Rollins College on March 2 in Jenkins Field House. 

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