LAKELAND, Fla. - E.J. Dambreville scored a career-high 28 points and Florida Southern College men's basketball opened its home slate with a rousing 84-56 win over visiting New Haven on Friday evening at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 24 Moccasins (5-1) nailed 12 three-pointers and never trailed the Chargers (1-3) in the first home game of the season.
Florida Southern jumped in front by 10 (13-3) less than five minutes into the first half. The 28-point margin of victory is the most in a non-conference home game since a 111-74 win over Miles on Dec. 13, 2017. The Mocs are back in action tomorrow in a matchup of top 25 teams when they take on No. 7 Valdosta State at 7:30 p.m. to close out the holiday weekend.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- It was obvious from the onset that Dambreville was in for a big night when he drilled a three-pointer on the opening possession of the game to give Florida Southern a 3-0 lead, and the Mocs never trailed. New Haven was able to tie things up on its first possession, but the Moccasins scored 10 in a row to make it 13-3 on Dambreville's third three-pointer of the game with 15:41 left in the first half.
- The Chargers were able to mount a 12-4 run over the next five minutes to pull within two points (17-15) when Ross Jones II connected from long range at the 10:49 mark, but the Mocs regained their footing and scored 16 of the next 24 points to go back up by double digits (33-23) on Brett Hanson's layup with 5:52 on the clock.
- Southern would close out the half by outscoring New Haven 12-8 over the final five-plus minutes to take a comfortable 45-31 advantage into the locker room at the break. Dambreville poured in 18 points in the first half, shooting 4-of-7 from long range as Florida Southern shot an impressive 53.3 percent (16-of-30) from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
- The Mocs wasted no time in pushing their lead to 20 points (55-35) on a Hanson jumper with 17:12 left to play and never led by less than 15 the rest of the way. Southern would lead by as many as 35 points (82-47) in the final five minutes.
- Dambreville finished the night 11-of-16 from the floor, including 6-of-11 from long range, and also snagged eight rebounds. Hanson tallied 15 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, while Jair Rodgers poured in 18 and went 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.
- Florida Southern outrebounded the Chargers 38-32, outscored New Haven 16-2 on the fastbreak, and shot 53.3 percent (32-of-60) from the floor.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Friday's game was the first-ever meeting between the Moccasins and Chargers. Florida Southern head coach Mike Donnelly, who faced New Haven 12 times while at Post (2003-10) and Southern Connecticut State (2010-15) is now 9-4 all-time against the Chargers and has won five in a row over New Haven.
- Hanson passed former Moccasin all-American and Hall of Famer Jerry Johnson for seventh on the all-time scoring list at Southern. Hanson has scored 1,664 points in his career (16.6 ppg). He is on pace to become just the third player in school history to surpass 2,000 career points.
- Dambreville's six three-pointers mark the second-straight game in which a Moccasin has nailed six three-pointers. Rodgers made six in last Saturday's win at Barry.
- Florida Southern will face No. 7 Valdosta State at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the only matchup of top 25 teams in Division II this week. The Blazers (6-1) edged out a pesky Saint Leo squad, 96-92, on Friday in the first game of the Terrace Hotel Thanksgiving Classic.