LAKELAND, Fla. - In one of the most highly-anticipated Division II men's basketball games of the year, Florida Southern College came up just short in a 111-103 overtime loss to No. 4 Nova Southeastern on Saturday night at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 4 Moccasins (12-1, 4-2 SSC) tied the Sharks (10-1, 4-1) on Brett Hanson's floater with 20 seconds left in regulation.
But Nova Southeastern outscored the Mocs 14-6 in the overtime period and went 10-of-13 from the line in the final five minutes to snap Southern's nine-game winning streak. Hanson, Brandon Carroll, and Jalyn Hinton each tallied 20 points, but Mark Matthews poured in a game-high 36 for the Sharks, who picked up their fourth-straight win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- It was evident early on that the game would be close throughout as neither team really broke away until Nova Southeastern at 15-11 on Jake Maranville's three with 15:26 left in the first half. The Sharks would eventually push their lead to seven (34-27) on a Nick Smith three-pointer at the 6:58 mark and led by as many as 10 (48-38) with 2:56 to go.
- However, the Mocs caught fire over the final two-plus minutes of the first half and outscored NSU 11-5 over the remainder of the first period and sliced the deficit to just four (53-49) at the break. Southern used a 6-0 run in the final 24 seconds of the half to pull back within striking distance. Brandon Carroll hit a three-pointer, was fouled and hit the ensuing free throw before DeAndre Campbell's layup with seven seconds on the clock made it a four-point game.
- Nova Southeastern would remain in front for almost the entirety of the second half and found itself ahead by nine (94-85) with just over four minutes to play. But Florida Southern made another late run and pulled within two (97-95) on Carroll's three with 1:39 left in regulation. After getting two-straight defensive stops, Hanson hit the game-tying layup with 20 ticks left and Smith's would-be game-winning jumper came up short to send things to overtime.
- The Sharks seized momentum early in the extra period by scoring the first six points of overtime to go on top 103-97, but the Mocs got within four points two times in the final three minutes to keep it close. It would not be enough, however, as Nova Southeastern went 10-of-13 from the free-throw line in overtime to seal the win.
- Florida Southern shot 48.8 percent (42-of-86) from the floor, but hit just 7-of-25 three-pointers and was only 12-of-21 at the charity stripe. The Sharks were a combined 50.7 percent (37-of-73) on the night, knocked down 8-of-15 from long range, and were 29-of-40 at the free-throw line.
- NSU finished with 50-39 advantage in rebounds, but the Mocs finished with a 64-44 edge in points in the paint and outscored the Sharks 21-5 on the fast break. In addition to Carroll, Hanson, and Hinton, E.J. Dambreville (15) and Jack Rauch scored in double figures. Hinton finished with 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the year, and Hanson grabbed nine boards while dishing out six assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 31-9 all-time against Nova Southeastern, including a 19-3 mark when facing the Sharks at home. It was the second time that the teams have played an overtime contest in the series. The other overtime game was a 105-102 home victory for the Sharks on Dec. 2, 2017.
- Earlier in the day, Florida Southern's women's team topped Nova Southeastern in overtime. It is the second time in the past two seasons that both the Moccasin men's and women's teams have played an overtime game on the same day. The last time it happened came on Jan. 31, 2018 in a doubleheader with Eckerd.
- Rauch increased his career scoring total to 972 points. He needs just 28 more to become the 44th player in program history, and fourth in the last five years, to score 1,000 career points at FSC. He would join Hanson, Jonathan Lawton, and Dominique Williams as the most recent players to hit 1,000 points, all of which have come under head coach Mike Donnelly.
- Hanson pushed his career scoring total to 1,846 and needs just 24 more to pass Kris Kearney for fourth in school history. He has also tallied 739 rebounds, good for seventh in the program record books. His 181 steals are good for seventh, and he needs just four more assists to move into the top 10 in that category.
- Florida Southern will travel to Rollins (Jan. 8) and Eckerd (Jan. 15) before three-straight home contests with Palm Beach Atlantic (Jan. 18), Tampa (Jan. 22), and Barry (Jan. 25). The Moccasins close out the month at Saint Leo (Jan. 29).