Women’s basketball on winning streak; Ruffo earns milestone win

The Panther Women’s Basketball team during the game against Florida SouthWestern State College.

The Palm Beach State College Women’s Basketball team is creating a lot of buzz around campus, the state and the nation!

The Panthers current overall record is 15-2 and 4-0 in the Southern Conference. They have not lost a game since early December and are currently ranked #13 in the latest NJCAA National Poll.

In addition, Head Coach Kris Ruffo picked up her 350th career coaching win on Saturday, Jan. 21 after a game against Florida SouthWestern State College. The win marks the third milestone win that Ruffo has achieved during her tenure at Palm Beach State (#200, #300 and #350).

According to Ruffo, this year’s success has come from focusing on defense.

“Our success has been based on buying into a system of defense first, and our defensive effort will lead to easy offensive opportunities,” said Ruffo. “We pride ourselves in our ability to match up with anyone and dictate the speed and pace of the game. Our depth has been a key factor to our success as well.”

Ruffo also notes that reaching her 350th win at Palm Beach State has been a team effort.

“There have been so many quality student-athletes and assistant coaches that share in this milestone win,” said Ruffo. “I have been fortunate to surround myself with players and staff that support me and the vision of the programs I’ve coached. It feels great to get #350 with this team. They are a special team and are a blast to coach every day.”

Ruffo’s 2016-17 team are led by a quartet of local players. Shakoa Edwards (Boynton Beach) Jonika Garvin and Alexis Sparkman (Lake Worth) and Alexis Jean (Port St. Lucie) combine for 80 percent of the offensive output. The four sophomores also lead the way for the Panthers on the defensive end of the floor.

According to Ruffo, balanced scoring, depth at the guard slot and an air of confidence has propelled the Panthers to their quick start in the new year.

The Panthers put their nine-game winning streak on the line Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. at home when they play defending Southern Conference champions Eastern Florida State College.

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