By: Patrick Chalvire/Asst. Sports Director
The Panthers and the Florida Memorial Lions were in the giving mood Friday evening, combing for a total of 35 turnovers in the Panthers’ 74-48 win.
The Panthers, (3-0, 0-0) came into the matchup having previously beaten Stetson on the road, Tuesday evening.
“I thought Florida Memorial did a good job coming in,” said Head Coach Anthony Evans. “I thought they disrupted us a bit trying to pressure us, things of that nature. We played OK in spurts but it wasn’t the consistency that I’m looking for.”
The Lions pressured the Panthers early on, and disrupted their focus, forcing Evans to pull starting guard Tashawn Desir less than three minutes into the game after giving up the ball on two consecutive possessions. “Lack of concentration,” said Evans. “Plain and simple we weren’t focused coming out from the start and they took advantage of that so it’s something that we’re gonna have to work on.”
Despite the early giveaways, the Lions stayed within range to take the lead over the Panthers. They were led by junior forward Samuel Dorismond, who scored the first nine points for the Lions.
The Panthers went into the locker room leading the Lions, 37-19, shooting 51.9 percent from the floor, while holding the Lions to just 27.3 percent shooting. Senior guard Dennis Mavin contributed with a team-high nine points and two rebounds while shooting 4-of-7 from the floor.
Both teams combined for 20 turnovers by halftime, including three-straight giveaways early in the game. “A little lack of focus but throughout the game I feel like we picked it up but we would go up and down and up and down, but I feel like we have to stay consistent as a team,” said Mavin.
Junior forward Daviyon Draper, senior forward Kris Gulley and redshirt sophomore guard Ray Rodriguez each had seven points going into the break.
Despite the victory, Evans said he felt the team missed out on open opportunities and strayed away from the game plan. “As a team we have to take advantage of every opportunity when we step on the floor to get better, he said. “I didn’t think that we got much better tonight. I thought we went back, we reverted back to some of our old habits and those are things we have to break.”
Dorismond ended the night with a game-high 22 points. “He’s their main scorer and he’s a volume shooter,” said Evans. “Once we started defending, we were able to extend the lead and that’s what this team is gonna have to do in order for us to be successful.”
Mavin finished with 19 points off 8-of-14 shooting from the floor, including two rebounds, three steals and three assists. Diaz ended his night with 10 points shooting 2-of-4 from the field, and 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
The Panthers ended the night shooting 53.3 percent from the floor, (24-of-45), and 62.9 percent from the charity strike (22-of-35). The Lions were held to 34.8 percent shooting (16-of-46), and 56 percent from the free throw line (14-of-25).
The Panthers will now head back on the road to face Georgia Southern on Monday, Oct. 24.