Pioneers Second-Half Rally Falls Just Short

Pioneers Second-Half Rally Falls Just Short

FORT MYERS, FL – Facing the Citrus Conference undefeated #1 team and #20 Nationally ranked Florida Southwestern Buccaneers, Indian River jetted out to a quick 7-0 nothing lead. Unfortunately, that would be highlight of the first half for the Pioneers. FSW would go on to outscore IRSC 55-32 for the next 18 minutes building a lead to as much as 21 with 6:52 remaining in the period. IRSC would close it slightly, trailing 55-39 at half time.

Then things would get interesting: "I told them at halftime, 'you're all going to think I'm crazy but we have them right where we want them'" said Coach Bill Morosco. The crazy thing is, he was right. IRSC would go on to mount a furious comeback over the next 18 minutes fueled by a more free flowing offense and a stingy zone defense, eventually tying the score 91-91 with 1:26 left to go in the game. Unfortunately, the Pioneers comeback would stall in the waning moments as FSW was able to gather a highly contested offensive rebound and sink critical free throws late escaping with a 97-93 victory.

"I'm proud of our guys for fighting all the way back to tie the game. But games come down to rebounding and turnovers and in the last two possessions we couldn't come down with that last rebound and we turned it over and that will end any come back. They're a great team, a team that can make a deep run at Hutch so tip your cap that they managed to make those winning plays after our big come back, a lot of other teams could have folded then," continued Coach Morosco.

IRSC was led by Deng Majak with 24 points and 11 rebounds and Mostapha El Moutaouakkil with 24 points. Jayshayne Woodard continued his stat stuffing season with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Mykol Sanchez made four three's on seven attempts.

The Pioneers look to bounce back at home on Saturday, February 3, against Santa Fe. Tip-off is set for 4:00pm, following the women's basketball game. 


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