LAKELAND, Fla. - It wasn't easy, but Florida Southern College men's basketball kept its win streak intact by picking up its seventh-straight victory in a hard-fought win over Northwood, 81-70, on Friday evening at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 17 Moccasins (10-1) built an early eight-point lead over the Timberwolves (5-5) but Northwood fought back with a fantastic defensive effort in the latter stages of the first half to keep things close.
It was not enough, however, as the Mocs mounted a 16-4 run late in the second half to pull away and seal the win. Four different players scored in double figures and Jalyn Hinton tallied a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) to lead the Mocs to victory. Brett Hanson (17), Jack Rauch (16), and Jair Rodgers (14) all scored more than 10 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After each team made a bucket on their opening possession of the game, Florida Southern reeled off a 10-2 run that was capped off by a Jalyn Hinton dunk to make it 12-4 with 15:38 to go in the first half. The Mocs grabbed their first double-digit lead of the game (18-8) when Brandon Carroll hit a layup at the 13:04 mark, but the Timberwolves scored 12 of the next 15 points to slice the deficit to one (21-20) on Trevor Davis' three-pointer with just under 10 minutes to go.
- Northwood tied things at 22-22 on David Jelinek's bucket with 8:27 remaining in the first half. Southern got back in front by four points twice in the next two minutes, but never pushed its lead beyond that as the Timberwolves eventually grabbed their first lead of the night (34-33) on Trey McBride's layup with 1:10 on the clock, and the teams went into the locker room all square at 35-35 at the break.
- The Timberwolves would come out hot in the second half as they outscored the Moccasins 9-5 in the first three and a half minutes to take their largest lead of the game (44-40) when Jelinek put in a layup at the 16:33 mark of the half. With the scored tied at 48-48 and 10:46 left in the game, the Mocs scored eight in a row to jump in front, 56-48, when Rauch hit a baby hook with just under nine minutes to play.
- After Northwood temporarily stopped the run with a bucket to get back within six (56-50), the Moccasins scored another eight in a row as Rodgers capped the scoring run with a three at the 6:58 mark to give Southern a 64-52 advantage.
- The 16-4 run would prove to be the nail in the coffin for the Timberwolves as Florida Southern never led by less than nine points the rest of the way to improve to a perfect 6-0 at home this season.
- The Moccasins shot a combined 51.7 percent (28-of-59) from the floor, and knocked down five of their six made three-pointers in the second half, while outscoring Northwood 27-14 on the fast break. Both teams finished with 36 rebounds, and the Mocs finished with 19 made free-throws to just 10 for the Timberwolves.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern moved to 1-0 all-time against Northwood. The seven-game winning streak is the best since the Mocs won eight in a row during the 2017-18 season. Southern won its final seven regular-season games and its first Sunshine State Conference Tournament game.
- Hinton's double-double was his fourth of the season. He also added two blocks to his stat line and has at least two blocks in all eight games he has played this season.
- Hanson increased his career scoring total to 1,790, moving into sole possession of fifth place in program history. He also upped his rebound total to 715 and needs two more to move into seventh in school history.
- Rauch is now 83 points away from scoring 1,000 career points. He would become the 44th player in program history to reach that benchmark. He also increased his career rebound total to 624 and needs just 66 more to move into the top 10 in school history in career rebounds.
- Moccasin head coach Mike Donnelly picked up his 272nd win as a collegiate head coach. He is now 272-209 in his career, including a 77-57 mark in five seasons at Florida Southern.
- The Mocs close out the calendar year against American International at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. After a break for the holidays, Florida Southern will jump back into SSC action with a road game at Florida Tech (Jan. 2) and a home matchup with No. 5 Nova Southeastern (Jan. 4).