Florida Southern goes 1 and 1 against Nova Southeastern as the women picked up their third win of the season while the men lost their first Sunshine State Conference matchup of the year.
Camille Giardina led No. 17 Florida Southern (10-1, 3-0 SSC) with a season-high 25 points as the Mocs picked up their seventh straight win in a 79-72 win over Nova Southeastern (6-5, 2-2 SSC). A season-high 31 points from Jonathon Lawton was not enough as No. 7 Florida Southern (9-2, 2-1 SSC) fell to No. 5 Nova Southeastern (10-0, 4-0 SSC).
Nova Southeastern utilized two Moccasin turnovers to take an early 5-0 lead before Southern picked up the pace, going 12-5 over the next 3:33, to take the first Moccasin lead of the game.
The lead switched back and forth before Florida Southern went on an 8-1 run led by Katerina Pazzaglia-Khomenko and Giardina to end the quarter 21-13. The quarter was capped with a buzzer-beater jumper by Giardina.
The start of the second quarter saw the Mocs’ largest lead of 9 at 9:29 before the Sharks took a 8-0 to tie the game at 27 with 6:25 left in the half. Nova Southeastern took the lead for the first time in the quarter with 3:41 (32-33).
Julia Jenike and Giardina put up 7 points over the last 1:09 to head into the half with a 4 point lead (41-37). Jenike put up another buzzer-beater jumper to end the first half.
The Mocs started the second half in a rough patch as the Sharks took an early wave of points, picking up 9 unanswered points in the first 3:17. Giardina found her rhythm, scoring 10 points in the third quarter to regain the lead. Florida Southern ended the third quarter with a 61-56 lead.
The Mocs and the Sharks traded basket for basket with the Mocs outscoring the Sharks in the fourth and final quarter.
No. 17 Florida Southern defeats Nova Southeastern 79-72.
Giardina (25 pts, 5 stl, 4 reb), Fuchs-Robetin (17 pts, 5 reb) and Pazzaglia-Khomenko (15 pts, 4 reb) led the Mocs with a combined 57 of 79 points (72 percent).
Fuchs-Robetin collected her ninth SSC weekly award (fourth Player of the Week honor) for her career last week following back to back 20+ point performances at the Terrace Hotel Classic. She currently ranks fifth in the SSC with an average of 14.7 points per game.
This win gave the Mocs their 10th win of the season as Florida Southern picks up a 20-19 series lead.
Slinky Jones opened the game for the Mocs with a steal-layup combo in the first 15 seconds for the Mocs’ only lead of the game. Nova Southeastern responded with a 19-5 run plagued by Florida Southern turnovers.
Over the next 2:41, Southern attempted to make a comeback, getting as close as 6 points (17-23) with 13:13 left in the first half.
The Sharks outscored the Moccasins by 19 points during the last 13 minutes of the half, led by the NCAA DII Player of the Week, Connor Zinaich, who recorded 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in the first half.
Southern trailed the Sharks by 25 (46-71) at the half. Lawton (13 pts), Jones (13 pts) and Brett Hanson (10 pts) combined for 36 of the Mocs 46 first half points (79 percent).
The second half opened with the Mocs going 4-4 from the field with Jones scoring 6 of the opening 8 points. Southern started to tick away at the Sharks’ lead, getting within 17 points (63-80) with 15:13 left in the game.
The Sharks reacted by driving the score back to a 26 point lead (71-97) with 9:20 left in the contest. Florida Southern tried to come back in the closing minutes but failed to get below an 18 point margin (86-104, 5:13) as the clock winded down.
No. 7 Florida Southern fell to No. 5 Nova Southeastern 95-117.
Lawton led the Mocs with a career-high 31 points, 18 of which were scored in the second half. Lawton also recorded 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Hanson recorded the team’s only double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, playing 38 of 40 minutes.
Jones scored 19 points, recorded 7 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in the contest. Jones earned his second SSC Defensive Player of the Week honor this season last week after a pair of double-doubles at the Mocs Christmas Classic. The weekly award is the fifth of Jones’ career.
This was the second loss for the Moccasins as they still lead the Sharks 28-8 all-time.
Both teams return home to Lakeland before heading to Melbourne, Fla. on Jan. 2 to take on the Panthers of Florida Tech. The women will play at 5:30 p.m. and the men will play at 7:30 p.m.. All games will be available on SunshineStateConference.tv.