LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College women's basketball suffered a heartbreaking loss in a 65-64 defeat at the hands of Palm Beach Atlantic on Wednesday at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 15 Moccasins (20-3, 13-2 SSC) dropped their second-straight Sunshine State Conference contest while the Sailfish (4-17, 2-13) picked up their second win in their last four outings.
Camille Giardina led the Mocs with 18 points but PBA got a monster effort from Jonika Garvin, who scored 38 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, to snap Florida Southern's 23-game home win streak and hand it back-to-back losses for the first time since the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a slow start offensively as it shot just 4-of-18 from the floor in the first quarter. Despite enjoying a 12-6 lead with 3:27 to go in the first, the Mocs managed just two more points in the first period as Palm Beach Atlantic went on a 6-2 run and trailed by just two (14-12) after the first quarter.
- The second quarter proved to be the Mocs' undoing for the night as the Sailfish put up 24 points to Florida Southern's 12. Caroline Patrick drilled a three-pointer for PBA to give the Sailfish their first lead (15-14) at the start of the second, and the momentum stayed with Palm Beach Atlantic as it built a 36-26 lead by halftime. Garvin scored 14 points in the second quarter as PBA went 10-of-14 from the field while holding Southern to just 5-of-12.
- The Mocs were able to work their way back to within a single point (37-36) when Giardina hit a layup at the 6:16 mark of the third, but PBA was able to swing momentum back in its favor as Garvin scored 14 in the third as well to help give the Sailfish a 48-42 lead with one quarter to go.
- Down by eight (63-55) with just 2:36 to go, Florida Southern caught fire when it connected on three-straight from beyond the arc to take a 64-63 lead on Giardina's three with 1:17 to go. Garvin's jumper on the ensuing Sailfish possession put PBA back up by one (65-64) with just under a minute to go. After a paired of missed shots by both teams, Anja Fuchs-Robetin narrowly missed the go-ahead bucket with 18 seconds left but was able to gather the rebound.
- After a Moccasin timeout, Elsa Landerg's three-pointer with one second left caromed off the iron and into the hands of Mercedez Claybrone. She was able to tip in what looked like the winning basket, but it was ruled that the buzzer had sounded before the ball left her hands.
- Giardina was one of four Moccasins in double figures as Fuchs-Robetin (12), Claybrone (11), and Mackenzie Steele (11) also tallied double-digit point totals. Garvin was the only Sailfish to eclipse 10 points as she made 17 of PBA's 23 field goals. Claudia Charles had six points and 12 boards for Palm Beach Atlantic.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 23-3 all-time against Palm Beach Atlantic, including an 11-2 record at home. The loss snapped the Moccasins' streak of eight-straight wins against the Sailfish. It was also the first time the Mocs lost at home since a 72-70 defeat against Embry-Riddle on Dec. 2, 2017. The loss, FSC's second in a row, marked the first time it has lost back-to-back games since falling to Florida Tech and Rollins to end the 2016-17 season.
- Giardina pushed her career scoring total to 1,699 points. She needs 87 more to move into sixth in school history in career scoring. Fuchs-Robetin now has 1,471 points. She is 16 points shy of moving into a tie for eighth place.
- Florida Southern is on the road on Saturday at Lynn and will play at Eckerd next Wednesday as part of the Division II Showcase on ESPN3. The Mocs' next home game is against Barry on Feb. 23.