On Saturday, the Florida Tech men’s basketball team concluded their regular season game play with a powerful win away against Tampa, 94-76. Coming into that game, Tech was fighting for the fourth place seed going into the Sunshine State Conference tournament. Luckily, the Panthers came out on top and will host the first round of the SSC tournament to fans for the first time since 2012. 

Florida Tech will go up against No. 5 seed Palm Beach Atlantic, who has a conference record of 10-10. In the season, the Sailfish swept the Panthers in both conference games, with a 79-70 win away and a 80-77 win in Melbourne. 

The last time Florida Tech competed against PBA was on our home court, where the Sailfish nailed a three-point buzzer beater to win the game. Now, Tech is ready to finally beat them back in the Clemente gym. 

“This is the best Division II conference in the country, so we need to bring our A-game,” said Billy Mims, the men’s basketball head coach at Florida Tech. “I am proud as I watch this group of men perform day in and day out as hard as I can as we inch towards the conference tournament.” 

The team has been training on and off the court for this tournament the entire season. Players like Sean Houpt (average 20.3 points per game), Sesan Russell (19.2 ppg) and Mekhii Noble (12.9ppg) have led the team’s offense this year. With high statistics on the court and grit among the team, the Panthers could have a successful night.  

“We are excited about the opportunity we have starting Tuesday,” Houpt said. “We expect a tough game and are ready for the challenge.”

Tuesday at 7 p.m. the Panthers will take the floor against PBA. The winner of this game will face the winner of No.1 seed Nova Southeastern and No. 8 seed Barry on Thursday. 

For more information regarding the SSC tournament or the men’s basketball team, visit the Florida Tech Athletics website. 


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