Women’s basketball team clinches conference title

Group Shot
The women’s basketball team poses after their victory over Florida Southwestern State College.

The Palm Beach State Women’s Basketball team captured the Southern Conference title last night with an 85-54 road win against Florida Southwestern State College.

The Panthers clinched a tight game victory over Florida Southwestern in January with an eight-point win, but the Buccaneers were no match for Palm Beach on Valentine’s Day. The Panthers jumped to an 11-point lead after the first quarter and the lead swelled to 17 points going into halftime.

The Panthers put the game away in the third quarter leading by 34 points. Palm Beach was led by a trio of sophomores. Mississippi State signee Jonika Garvin (Lake Worth HS) led the way with 27 points and eight rebounds. Fellow classmates Shakoa Edwards (Boynton Beach HS) had 18 points and 11 assists and Alexis Jean (Treasure Coast HS) had 14 points and 14 rebounds on the night.

“Kudos to Coach Ruffo, her staff and the team for winning the conference,” said John Scarpino, interim athletics director. “To clinch the title and win the way they did on the road at Florida Southwestern, which is a very good team, is impressive. Coach Ruffo has the team playing very well as of late, and that is what you like to see entering post-season play. I have no doubt that she will have the team ready for the state tournament.”

With the win, the women improve to 21-2 overall, 10-0 in Southern Conference play and have a 15-game winning streak. The Panthers have not lost a game since Dec. 6, 2016.

The latest NJCAA National Poll has Palm Beach State sitting at #12 in the country. The women are back on the court Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Eastern Florida State College and finish up the regular season at home on Saturday, Feb. 25 against Broward College. At the last game, they will honor their nine sophomores on Sophomore Appreciation Day.

The Palm Beach State College team now advances to the NJCAA Region 8 State Championships March 8-11, 2017 in Ocala, Fla.

For more information on Pam Beach State women’s basketball, visit

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