Strong defense earns two conference sweeps for women’s basketball

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Strong, relentless defense has propelled the Panthers to two conference wins this week.

The women’s basketball team faced off and shut down both Tampa and Eckerd earlier in the season. This week, the Panthers took round two as well.

“It’s been all about effort,” said Head Coach John Reynolds. “Defense and rebounding can tell a lot about a team’s toughness and effort.”

The win on Wednesday was the Panthers first sweep over Tampa since the 2003-2004 season.

“This game was tough and hard-fought; it was really a battle,” said Reynolds. “We got beat a couple times this year because we missed shots or free throws late in the game. Tonight we made our free throws and grabbed big rebounds.”

Riding a four-game winning streak, the team is being led on defense by Diamond Cooper, Shequana Harris and DeLise Williams.

Cooper is leading the SSC with an average of 1.5 blocks per game while Harris and Williams have claimed the top two spots in steals per game.

The team’s combined efforts have allowed the Panthers to be first in the conference in three-point field goal defense percentage.

On Saturday, the Panthers’ defense was tested, facing off against Eckerd who is ranked right behind the Panthers in three-point field goal defense.

Eckerd is also third in the SCC in scoring defense, only allowing 59.6 points by their opponents in games.

The Panthers narrowly missed that margin, sinking 62 points and holding the Titans to just 55.  

The double sweep for the week secured a second place ranking in the SCC for the women’s team.

The Panther’s next matchup is against Florida Southern in the Play4Kay Game for Breast Cancer awareness. The game is on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Clemente Center.