LAKELAND, FL - Chesney Campbell scored a career-high 20 points to help propel Florida Southern College women's basketball past Lane College, 89-57, in the first round of the NCAA South Regional on Friday night at Jenkins Field House at Streamline Sale Arena. The No. 17 Moccasins (29-3) struggled to fend off a pesky Lady Dragons (13-18) squad in the first quarter but used their depth and lockdown defense to pull away in the second and run away with the game in the second half.
With the win, the Mocs advance to Saturday's semifinals where they will face a familiar foe in Tampa. The Moccasins and Spartans will play at 7:30 p.m. at Jenkins Field House, with the winner advancing to face either West Florida or Nova Southeastern in the regional title game at 7 p.m. on Monday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 1st Quarter | Florida Southern got off to a fast start as it raced out to a 6-0 lead in the opening three minutes of action, but Lane went on a 7-0 run to the lead (7-6) with 5:46 to go in the first. The Mocs seemed to regain control with a 10-2 run that put them in front by seven (16-9) and led 20-12 with just under two minutes to go in the quarter, but the Lady Dragons scored six of the final eight points and trailed by just two (22-20) at the end of the first.
- 2nd Quarter | The second quarter saw the Moccasin defense put the clamps down on Lane by limiting the Lady Dragons to just 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Florida Southern, meanwhile, hit a whopping 66.7 percent (8-of-12) of its shots in the quarter to outscore Lane 19-12. After Lane tied things at 27-27 with 5:27 to go in the second, Southern would take complete control by mounting a 14-3 run over the rest of the period to take a 41-30 lead into halftime. Mackenzie Steele started the run with a three-pointer to break the 27-27 tie, and Anja Fuchs-Robetin hit a layup with six seconds left to give the Mocs an 11-point lead at the break.
- 3rd Quarter | Florida Southern stayed hot from the floor in the third quarter, knocking down 9-of-17 shots as Camille Giardina scored nine of her 19 points in the third. The Mocs stretched their lead to 20 points (52-32) on Giardina's jumper with six minutes on the clock and led by as many as 21 points en route to a 63-44 advantage after three quarters of action.
- 4th Quarter | The fourth quarter belonged to Campbell, who scored 10 points in the final frame as Southern outscored Lane 26-13 over the final 10 minutes. Campbell knocked down a pair of threes and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the charity stripe in the quarter, while Julia Jenike scored six points in the fourth. The Mocs led by as many as 34 points (89-55) in the final minute of action.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern advanced to the South Region semifinal for the sixth time in school history.
- Friday's meeting between the Moccasins and Lady Dragons was the first-ever between the two schools.
- With the win, the Mocs set a new school record for wins in a season with 29, breaking the previous record of 28 set by the 1994-95 squad.
- Southern improved to 11-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including an 8-6 record in the first round.
- The last time Florida Southern and Tampa played in the regional semifinals came in 2016 when the Mocs won 69-59 en route to a South Region championship and an appearance in the Elite Eight.
- Florida Southern will take on longtime rival Tampa in the regional semifinals. The Spartans upset fourth-seeded Lee in the final game on Friday to earn a spot in the semifinal round. The teams will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the winner taking on either West Florida or Nova Southeastern in the South Region title game on Monday at 7 p.m. at Jenkins Field House.