LAKELAND, FL - Tyler Ross scored 29 points to lead six players in double figures as Florida Southern College men's basketball exploded on offense in a 112-98 win over visiting Embry-Riddle in Sunshine State Conference action on Wednesday at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (5-4, 2-3 SSC) poured in 61 second-half points to overcome a 10-point deficit and hand the Eagles (4-5, 0-4) their second-straight defeat.
Florida Southern shot 59.5 percent in the second half to run past ERAU. The Moccasins have scored 100 or more points in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign. The Mocs return to action next Wednesday when they take on Miles at 7:30 p.m. at Jenkins Field House.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern got off to one of its best starts of the season as the offensive tone was set early. Clinging to a two-point lead (6-4) in the opening two minutes of action, the Mocs went on a 15-3 run over the next three minutes to grab a 21-7 lead at the 15:22 mark of the first half. However, the Eagles battled back and got within four (24-20) just four minutes later.
• The Moccasins would hold the lead until the final six minutes of the half. After cutting the deficit to just one (35-34) with 6:19 to go, ERAU took a 36-35 lead on Ognjen Miljkovic's jumper with 5:43 on the clock. Embry-Riddle extended its lead to 47-38 with just over three minutes remaining and extended its advantage to 10 points (52-42) with 1:43 on the clock. Florida Southern was able to mount a 9-3 run to close out the half and trailed by just four (55-51) at the break.
• In the second half, Florida Southern came out strong with a 7-2 run in the first minute of action to regain the lead (58-57). The Mocs would remain ahead until midway through the second half when Ridy Bibb-Boyd connected from deep to give Embry-Riddle a 75-74 advantage with 11:25 on the clock. Back-to-back buckets from Brett Hanson and Ross put the Mocs back up by three (78-75), and the teams traded jabs over the next several minutes. Leading by six (88-82) with just under seven minutes to play, Florida Southern was given a huge chance to pad its lead at the free-throw line when the Eagles were whistled for one personal and three technical fouls in the same sequence. The Moccasins took full advantage, hitting all seven of eight of the ensuing free throws to make it 95-82, and the rout was on.
• Florida Southern would lead by as many as 18 points (102-84) the rest of the way, and Ross capped things off with a thunderous dunk on FSC's last possession to put an exclamation point on an incredible offensive performance.
• The Moccasins went 42-of-79 from the floor, including 9-of-24 from beyond the arc, and hit 19-of-27 free throws. Embry-Riddle connected on 53.8 percent (35-of-65) of its shots, including 11-of-18 from long range and 17-of-20 at the charity stripe. The Eagles finished with a 36-35 edge in rebounds but were outscored 44-40 in the paint.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 5-4 all-time against Embry-Riddle, including 3-2 when facing the Eagles at home. The Moccasins scored 100 or more points for the second-straight game, marking the first time since the 2009-10 campaign that the Mocs have scored 100 or more in back-to-back games. Florida Southern defeated Puerto Rico-Bayamon (111-75) and St. Ambrose (105-72) on Nov. 24 and 25, 2009.
• Ross fell just shy of his career-high of 32 points, which was set last year against Palm Beach Atlantic (12/3/16). He did set a new career-high for made field goals, connecting on 13-of-20 from the floor while also pulling down 12 rebounds. Jonathan Lawton scored 21 points for his seventh 20-point game of the season. He has scored at least 20 points in each of the last three games. Hanson finished with 16, while Jones (13) and Jack Rauch (10) rounded out the Mocs in double digits.
• Florida Southern returns to action on Dec. 13 against Miles and closes out the calendar year with three more home games against Emmanuel (Dec. 18), Dominican (Dec. 19) and Southern New Hampshire (Dec. 30).