By JJ Nieko
Florida Southern Men’s and Women’s Basketball have had a lot of new developments within there 2016-2017 season.
Men’s basketball lost to Rollins 94-88 on Wednesday dropping Florida Southern to a 7-12 overall record and a 5-5 conference record. Florida Southern fell behind 45-28 in the first half and was unable to fight back despite nine three pointers in the second half.
Senior Michael Volovic scored a game high 30 points including ten three pointers to lead the Mocs offense. Volovic leads the team averaging 15.2 points per game this year and has played a crucial role in the Mocs’ success.
LaBrian Shiflet scored 17 second-half points in the near comeback victory while freshman Brett Hanson and junior Tyler Ross each added 11 points. Sophomore Jarel Spellman reached 145 blocks for his career and needs only 18 more blocks to set the school record for career blocks.
The Mocs search for consistent shooting has been team-wide as they are 45 percent field goal shooting the past two games. Despite putting up 88 points vs. Rollins, the team has been inconsistent in maintaining a solid field goal percentage.
The Mocs rode a three-game winning streak into their game with Embry-Riddle on Jan. 18 and the loss to Rollins continues a two-game losing skid. Prior to Embry-Riddle, the team had won three key conference games including a victory over Eckerd who is currently ranked second in the conference.
Florida Southern is currently fifth in the conference behind Rollins so remaining conference games are must wins for the team. The Mocs next host Nova Southeastern at home on Jan. 28 and play their two other remaining home games against Embry-Riddle on Feb. 11 and Lynn on Feb. 18.
Women’s basketball fell to Rollins on Jan. 25 in a 65-63 tilt that came down to Rollins hitting a go-ahead jump shot in the final seconds. The Mocs fell to a 12-6 record on the season with an 8-2 conference record. They remain in second place in the Sunshine State Conference behind Eckerd.
Junior forward Theresa Mac-Dangosu led the Mocs offensive attack with a season-high 16 points connecting from five of eight shots from the floor.
Junior Jensen Blassage and senior Gianna Vastola both finished with 14 points and four rebounds each. Vastola is now 46 points away from 1,000 career points with 555 points coming during her time at Florida Southern and 399 points at the College of Coastal Georgia.
Junior guard Jensen Blassage has helped lead the team’s offensive attack this year averaging 10.8 points a game and is third on the team with 195 total points.
“We have been playing really well but had a hiccup against Embry-Riddle. I’m excited to keep working hard and start another winning streak,” Blassage said.
The Mocs went in ranked at number 16 in the Division II Media Poll but will likely fall after the losses to Embry-Riddle and Rollins.
The Mocs begin their final stretch of conference play starting Jan. 28 at Jenkins Fieldhouse versus Nova Southeastern. After Southeastern, their final three home games are against Palm Beach Atlantic on Feb. 4, Embry-Riddle on Feb. 11 and Lynn on Feb. 18. All games are at Jenkins Fieldhouse and are free for students with their ID card.