NICEVILLE, Fla. – Northwest Florida State handed head coach Butch Pierre his first victory at the helm of the program with a 66-56 win over Florida State College at Jacksonville in Raider Arena on Friday.
Both teams go off to a sluggish start combing to shoot 5-for-27 to open the game. The Raiders got things going midway through the first half, however. Tutu Chisholm converted a layup to kick start a 10-0 NWF run that was capped by a Shakwon Barret 3-pointer.
The Raiders (1-0) doubled up the BlueWave when freshman guard Indrek Sunelik hauled in a long pass from Szymon Wojcik on a break and slammed it home. Northwest Florida ended the half on a 24-7 run to take a 34-17 lead into the locker room.
FSC Jacksonville (0-1) used the free throw line to its advantage sinking 27-of-33 charity attempts. The BlueWave crept back into the game cutting the deficit to seven, 63-56, but never threated to claim the lead as the Raiders led for all but 17 seconds of the contest.
Northwest Florida's defense was suffocating all night holding FSCJ to just 14-of-51 shooting (27.5 percent) from the floor and 1-of-12 from 3-point range.
"For a stretch I thought we really guarded well," NWF head coach Butch Pierre said. "We made some big stops and big shots, but in the second half we kind of lost our focus. That's something we'll work on, but overall, I was pleased with the way the team came out and played."
Sunelik came off the bench to lead all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and four 3-pointers. Carte'Are Gordon finished with 12 points and nine rebounds while Barrett had 10 points and six assists.
Next up for the Raiders is Roane State on Nov. 8 in Raider Arena. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.
For more information on Northwest Florida State athletics, visit NWFRaiders.com or follow the team on Twitter at @NWF_Raiders.