panthers end the regular season with a record of 18-10
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – For the third season in a row, Florida Tech Men’s Basketball has qualified for the SSC Tournament. Ending the regular season with a record of 18-10 and 11-9 in league play, the Panthers finished fourth place in the conference.
As the No. 4 seed, Tech will host No. 5 seed Palm Beach Atlantic who is 14-12 and bodes a 10-10 conference record on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
This is the first time, the Panthers have hosted an SSC tournament game with full capacity allowed since the 2011-12 season.
“I’m really excited for our program and fans to have the opportunity to host the Quarterfinals of the SSC Tournament tomorrow night,” said Head Coach Billy Mims.
“This game is about giving our loyal fans and student body, who have given us the best home-court advantage in the SSC all year, one more chance to see this team.”
During the regular season, the Sailfish swept the Panthers with a 79-70 win in January, and an 80-77 win in Melbourne on February 11.
The Sailfish are led by forward Jalen Cooper who averages a team-high 17 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game which is fourth-best in the SSC.
In the backcourt, Will Lee is a key player with 16.2 points per game and 4.1 assists per game. Lee hit the game-winning shot for PBA the last time these two teams played.
“It’s going to be a tough game and an exciting game and unfortunately PBA has beaten us twice this year,” Mims said. “That being said, we get one more shot at them. We need to defend well, rebound the basketball well, execute our offense, and we need to feed off the energy of all of our fantastic fans!”
Sean Houpt (20.3 ppg), Sesan Russell (19.2 ppg), Mekhii Noble (12.9 ppg), and Niall Harris (10.9 ppg) have led the Panthers offense this year. Russell has also been huge for Tech passing the ball as he leads NCAA D-II in assists per game with 7.2.
Defensively, Tech leads the conference in points allowed giving up just 72.6 points per game with Elias Martin leading the SSC with 42 blocks.
The winner of Tuesday night’s game in the Clemente Center will face the winner of No. 1 seed Nova Southeastern and No. 8 seed Barry on Thursday in the Semifinals. The highest-seeded team will host.
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