Fire Overcome Tough Start, Skilled Bobcats Team to Continue Sun Conference Rhythm

LAKELAND, Fla. – After a tough start in The Furnace Thursday evening, the No. 5 Southeastern University women’s basketball team responded with a resounding collective effort in the second half to notch a 69-57 win over the St. Thomas University Bobcats. With the win, the Fire proceeded to their third consecutive 8-0 start in Sun Conference play, as well as racked up their 50th straight win versus a TSC opponent.

First-half shooting woes plagued the Fire. As a team, SEU shot 32.18% from the field (9-28), including 23.08% from three-point range (3-13) through the first two quarters of action.

An 8-0 run midway through the second quarter earned the Bobcats a 28-18 lead over the Fire with 3:13 to go.

Southeastern outscored St. Thomas 9-4 to conclude the half, with those nine points coming from four different players. SEU trailed STU 32-27 at the intermission. This marked the first time since 1/26/26 versus Keiser that the Fire trailed to a Sun Conference opponent at halftime.

“The first half was not us. We are a high-caliber team and the things I saw offensively and defensively were not characteristic for us,” shared head coach Tim Hays. “But that is the lesson. You have to bounce back and I am proud of our girls for doing that.”

Senior guard Makenzie Cann led the Fire charge in the second half, scoring all eight of Southeastern’s points on an 8-0 run to open the half and earning SEU the 35-32 lead 45 seconds into the third quarter.

Senior guard Jaycee Coe also came alive in the third quarter, knocking down three consecutive three-point attempts in the period.

As the Bobcats continued to battle, the Fire lead STU 50-46 heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

A St. Thomas three pointer with 7:06 to go cut the Bobcats’ deficit to 56-53. However, the Fire responded with an 8-0 run to put STU out of reach.

Senior small forward Emma Karamovic was crucial to Southeastern’s success down the stretch, recording seven of her 12 points scored off the bench in the fourth quarter.

As a team, the Fire shot 58.6% (17-29) and an impeccable 72.7% (8-11) from behind the arc in the second half.

Cann finished with a team-best 20 points. Coe added 13 to go along with five rebounds. Junior center Marlena Schmidt totaled nine points and nine boards.

The Fire travel to Miami Gardens on Saturday for another conference showdown versus receiving votes Florida Memorial at 2 p.m.