Florida Southern drops Florida Tech
Fosterling and Hawley combine for 34 points to lead Moccasins
WINTER PARK, Fla. -- Tracy Fosterling scored 18 points and Michaela Hawley scored 16 points to lead Florida Southern past Florida Tech 68-52 in their opening game of the NCAA tournament on Friday. The win puts the second-seeded Moccasins (24-6) in the semifnals for the second consecutive year. They'll take on sixth-seeded Valdosta State (21-7) Saturday. Valdosta State knocked off third-seeded Ft. Valley State 59-47 in the opening game of the tournament.
With the exception of one brief lead at 6-5 by the Panthers with 16:50 left in the first half, the Moccasins were in control throughout the game. They reached a double-digit lead at 30-20 with 3:15 to go in the half, led 38-22 at halftime and never allowed the Panthers to get any closer the rest of the game.
The Moccasins shot 51.7 percent from the field in the first half, with Fosterling and Hawley combining for 22 points. Inserted into the starting lineup, Fosterling matched her season scoring high, going 8-9 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, and collected six rebounds. Hawley added seven rebounds to her 16 points that included 4-4 from the free throw line. Taylor Maldonado delivered seven assists.
Florida Tech (18-11) shot just 29.2 percent from the field for the game. The Panthers were led by Ashton McClairen's 12 points. Briauna Hagins added 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The last meeting between the Moccasins and Valdosta State came in the 1995 regional championship game, which the Moccasins won 77-73 at FSC.