The Florida State College at Jacksonville women's basketball team took to the road for their season opener. The BlueWave traveled to Fort Pierce, FL to Indian River State College where they participated in the Indian River Tip-Off Classic. During the two day event FSCJ would play two Southern Conference teams, host Indian River State College and Palm Beach State College.
Friday's action began at 6:00pm when the ball was tipped for the head coaching debut of first year Head Coach David Lowery. Coach Lowery would have his work cut out for him for the start of his collegiate coaching career as the Pioneers are fresh off a rebuilding year.
Indian River fired first scoring two points, but FSCJ's Aasiya Berry immediately answered off a coast to coast assist from teammate Bryanna Henderson. The BlueWave would then lead the Indian River Pioneers 18-13 with 2:13 remaining. A series of missed lay-ups would give the Pioneers an opportunity to take advantage, but FSCJ kept the lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter would find the BlueWave on an offensive drought which the Pioneers would exploit. A 28-12 IRSC run would give the Pioneers the edge they needed to head into the locker room up 38-28 at the half.
Over the shell shock from the ending of the second quarter, the BlueWave would go on a 14-8 run to close the Pioneers lead to four. Costly miscues on both ends of the floor for FSCJ would once again have them fighting to prove they belonged in the game. Ending the third quarter 60-48 the BlueWave were continuing to battle. FSCJ was able to close the gap to within six in the fourth quarter. A series of big plays on the offensive end for Indian River would prove costly for FSCJ, as IRSC would run away with an 86-58 win over the BlueWave.
Day two of the Indian River Tip-Off Classic would put two teams searching for their first season win against each other. The BlueWave would bring a battle to Palm Beach State College, who lost the night before to Eastern Florida State College.
For FSCJ it would prove to be a tale of two halves. Jumping out to an early 2-0 lead with an assist from Joseline Ramos to teammate Valicia Demeritte, it would be the beginning of an exchange of leads through quarter. The advantage would fall to FSCJ with an 11-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The BlueWave would catch some steam from the start of second quarter as Joseline Ramos would once again find a teammate and connect with Aasiya Berry for a quick conversion. FSCJ would lead by as many as eight off back to back three-point makes by freshmen Bryana Henderson. Having an offensive mindset allowed the BlueWave to take a 28-22 lead heading into the half.
Second half woes plagued FSCJ who saw their halftime lead disappear quickly. The BlueWave ran dry offensively and the scoring drought led to a 12-0 run by Palm Beach State. Third quarter scores reflect a 24-9 shift in points in Palm Beach's favor as the 46-37 score posted. FSCJ would work to recover but their 17-13 fourth quarter effort was not enough to close the gap. Palm Beach would claim the victory 63-50.
"This weekend was tough because things were within our control", said first year head coach David Lowery. "I thought we were ready and, in a position, to push forward after making a couple of adjustments defensively. Unfortunately, our competition did exactly what they wanted against us offensively. From a physicality standpoint we were out-muscled the whole weekend by who IRSC and Palm Beach State got the rebounds they needed. We just didn't respond the way we needed to, both games resulted in huge runs at the beginning of the fourth quarter that solidified both games."
The BlueWave will host Hillsborough Community College for their first home game this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
Men and Women's basketball games are located on the South Campus of FSCJ on 11901 Beach Blvd in Building R. For more information or to watch them via livestream please visit www.gobluewave.com