Houpt led the Panthers with 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – On New Year’s Day, Florida Tech traveled to Rollins for a big SSC matchup. After trailing at the half, the Panthers outscored the Tars by 15 points in the final 20 minutes to take a 71-61 victory back to Melbourne.
Tech opened out an 8-7 lead after four minutes behind triples from Niall Harris and Sesan Russell. The Panthers went cold offensively, not scoring over five minutes, and went down 14-8.
Behind three consecutive 3-pointers from Sean Houpt, Tech jumped back into the lead, 17-16. The Tars responded with their own 6-0 run to go up 22-17.
A 7-2 run capped by a Russell 3-pointer tied the game at 24 at the final media timeout of the half. Rollins outscored Tech 9-4 in the final four minutes to take a five-point lead into the locker room.
The Panthers scored the first six points of the half to take back the lead in the opening two minutes. Rollins regained the lead at 40-38 on a 3-pointer with 14:45 left in the game.
After teams traded buckets for a few minutes, Can Kaan Turgut hit a fast break lay-up while being fouled to give Tech a 49-45 lead. A runner from Houpt pushed the Panther’s lead to eight points.
A 6-0 run from the Tars cut the Panther’s lead to 58-56 with four minutes remaining. With just over a minute left, Chase Thompson found Harris inside for a big layup to give Tech a five-point lead.
Defensive stops in the final minute and six made free throws secured the win for the Panthers.
After missing two consecutive games with an ankle injury, Houpt came back to lead the Panthers with 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting.
He was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.
Scoring 14 points were Russell, who was also perfect from the free throw line at 4-of-4. He also had eight rebounds and four assists. Harris flirted with a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds.
The last Panther in double-figures was Noble with 10 points and seven rebounds.
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