LAKELAND, Fla. - Brandon Carroll scored a career-high 28 points and three other players scored in double figures as Florida Southern College men's basketball topped Sunshine State Conference rival Saint Leo, 86-76, on Wednesday night at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 22 Moccasins (7-1, 2-1 SSC) led the Lions (6-3, 1-1) from start to finish to stay unbeaten at home this season.
Carroll went an incredible 11-of-14 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from long range, while Jair Rodgers (19), Brett Hanson (13) and Jack Rauch (12) also scored in double digits. Jalyn Hinton added seven blocks in his first action since Nov. 20, and the Moccasin defense limited Saint Leo to just 35.1 percent (27-of-77) from the floor.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a quick start by scoring the first five points of the game and took its first double-digit lead (23-13) when Rauch drilled a three-pointer at the 10:27 mark of the first half. The Mocs led by as many as 14 points in the opening 20 minutes and held a 41-29 lead with 2:14 to go in the first, but the Lions outscored Southern 7-2 over the final two minutes of the opening period and trailed by just seven (43-36) at the break.
- The Mocs would blow the game wide open with a 12-0 run to start the second half and grab a 55-36 lead when Rodgers hit a jumper with 15:58 left to play. After a quick Saint Leo bucket, Carroll would connect from long range to push the lead to 20 (58-38) at the 15:12 mark, and Florida Southern never led by less than double digits the rest of the way as they cruised to an easy win.
- Carroll scored 17 points in the second half, going a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc over the final 20 minutes. He also added four rebounds, two assists, and a steal to his stat line. Rauch nearly tallied a double-double by snagging a team-high nine rebounds, while Hanson dished out eight assists.
- The Moccasins shot 50.0 percent (32-of-64) from the floor and hit 13-of-31 three-point attempts. Although Southern turned the ball over 22 times, it did a fantastic job of limiting the damage as Saint Leo mustered just 17 points off turnovers.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 92-22 all-time against Saint Leo, including a 54-8 record when facing the Lions at home. The Mocs are now 3-0 in their first three home games for the third-straight season.
- With his 13 points on Wednesday, Hanson pushed his career total to 1,705. He needs just 64 more to move into six place in school history in career scoring. He also upped his career rebound total 695 to move into eighth in program history. Hanson also tallied his 334th assist, 39 away from a spot in the top 10 in that category, and has 171 steals. He needs 18 more to move into sixth in steals.
- Head Coach Mike Donnelly picked up his 75th win at the helm of the program. He is now 74-57 in four-plus seasons at Florida Southern and is 269-209 in his career.
- The Moccasins held Saint Leo's top scorer, Kyran McClure, to just 17 points. That number is five less than his season average. Last week, McClure averaged 37.5 points per game after scoring 39 against then No. 7 Valdosta State and 36 against New Haven.
- Florida Southern will face Lindenwood at home at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and closes out the calendar year with home games against Northwood (Dec. 20) and American International (Dec. 21).