Women’s basketball falls in NCAA Regional Championship

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Regional Championship matchup between #1 Florida Southern College and #7 Nova Southeastern University

Reems Landreth

Florida Southern women’s basketball program (30-4) fell to Nova Southeastern, 84-63, in the NCAA South Region Championship game on March 18 in Jenkins Field House. 

The tone was set early in the regional title game as the Sharks (21-11)  kept the Mocs from scoring until nearly the halfway mark of the first quarter (5:22) when Camille Giardina got Southern onto the board (2-5). Anja Fuchs-Robetin and Julia Jenike also added to Florida Southern’s tally in the opening period, but five Sharks combined for 19 to take a 12 point lead (7-19) heading into the second quarter. 

The Mocs continued to struggle in the second quarter as Nova limited Southern to nine points in the opening minutes to build a 17 point lead (16-33) with 5:04 left in the half. Fuchs-Robetin began to rally in the closing minutes of the half, but her solo effort was not enough as the Mocs still trailed by 17 (26-43) at the half. 

Southern was able to control the Sharks better as the second half opened, but four three-pointers by Nova were enough to keep the lead at 15 (46-61) as time expired in the third. The Mocs opened it up in the fourth as they were able to cut into the deficit, but the late push was not enough as the Sharks held the lead in double digits as the clock struck zero. 

Nova Southeastern shot 47.6 percent from three while keeping the Mocs to 34.3 percent from the floor in the 23 point rout. The Sharks are headed to the Elite Eight for the third time in six years while Southern move to 12-14 in NCAA Tournament play and 2-2 in the Regional Championship game. 

The women finish their 2018-2019 campaign as the SSC regular-season and tournament champions for the second straight year. The team’s 30 wins this season set the school record previously held by the 1994-95 team who had 28 wins. Head Coach Betsy Harris was also named the SSC Coach of the Year. 

Giardina finishes her career at Florida Southern with 1,939 career points, shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc. Fuchs-Robetin finished her career with 1,677 points, shooting 50.8 percent from the field and picking up 6.9 rebounds per game. Claybrone finished her two years at Southern with 399 points, shooting 44.4 percent from the field while tallying 4.8 rebounds per game. 

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