WINTER PARK, Fla. - Florida Southern College men's basketball got back in the win column with an exhilarating 85-83 victory at Rollins on Wednesday night. The No. 14 Moccasins (13-2, 5-2 SSC) erased a 13-point first-half deficit and nearly squandered a nine-point second-half lead to beat the Tars (8-6, 2-4 SSC).
Jair Rodgers (20), Brett Hanson (18), E.J. Dambreville (15), and Jalyn Hinton (14) all scored in double figures for the Mocs. Rollins also saw four individuals hit double-digits in points. With the victory, Florida Southern handed Rollins its third-straight SSC loss.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The two teams traded baskets to open the game. Jack Rauch put the Mocs on the board first, off an offensive rebound. The home team responded with a three before Dambreville answered with a three-point basket of his own for a 5-3 Mocs advantage. At this point, the Mocs offense went cold and Rollins took advantage of the visiting teams' offensive struggles and went on an 8-0 run to build a six-point lead (11-5). As the Mocs struggled to find any sort of momentum, they would miss three different three-point shots during this 8-0 run for the Tars.
- The Tars would build a double-digit lead off of a Hutton Yenor three-point basket for a 23-13 Rollins lead. Rodgers cut the Tars lead back down to single digits as he drained a three. This would begin a 13-6 run for the Mocs as they attempted to get back in the game. However, during this span, the Tars would lead by as much as 13 and only as little as nine.
- Hanson would spark a comeback as he recovered his blocked shot and set the tone for the next two minutes. FSC compiled a 16-4 run to make it's way back into the game. The Mocs would take their second lead since the opening points of the game at the 3:22 mark of the first half as Hinton slammed home a dunk for a 43-42 advantage to the visitors. The lead would be short-lived as the teams would head down to the other end of the court and Rhodes fouled the Tars' freshman Kyle Marion as he attempted a three-point shot. He would tie the game on the first made free throw and give the home team the lead with the second. He missed the third.
- With a lead, the Tars' Jakobi Bonner looked to extend the home teams lead heading into the half, but Hinton said no as he blocked the layup. DeAndre Campbell picked up the rebound and attempted to make a half-court shot as time expired but he was fouled on the missed shot that was nowhere near the backboard. With no time on the clock, the sophomore made the first shot to tie the game at 48-48 and sunk the second shot for a 49-48 Mocs' lead. He missed the third shot but the visiting team had climbed all the way back to take a one-point lead into the halftime break.
- The Mocs attempted to gain some breathing room as they forced a Tars turnover which resulted in a fast-break layup for Hanson. After a layup from Marion to cut the Mocs lead to one, the two teams traded a trio of missed shots. Dambreville was able to break the missed streak as he positioned himself in the right spot to collect the offensive rebound and increase the FSC lead to three.
- After the first media timeout of the second half, the Tars would capitalize on some ball-handling errors and missed shots by the Mocs to tie the game at 56-56. Over the next eight minutes of play, Florida Southern would build a lead that jumped to as high as nine points. Bonner once again would get his team back in the game as he got the and one to tie the game on the made free throw. Following a Mocs turnover, the Tars Brooks Cluxton would slam home a dunk as he was fouled to even the score at 77-77, this would be just the second time, this half, that the score would be tied. He would give the home team the first of only two leads of the second half as he made the free throw.
- Hanson tied the game (80-80) on the first made free throw. He would miss the second free throw, or so he thought as the officials would call a lane violation on the Tars' Yennor. Hanson took advantage of the Tars error and give back the lead to the Mocs as he sunk the second attempt of the second free throw. Dambreville would collect his fourth foul on the night to send Bonner to the line to shoot two. He made the first to even the score at 81-81, the second was no good. After Florida Southern called its final timeout of the game and Hanson missed a jumper inside the center, Yenor looked to put the Tars on top but his shot for three would not fall. Inside the final minute, Rauch put the visiting team up by two. With 14 seconds remaining on the clock, Bonner tied the game and the Mocs would regain possession. In the closing seconds of regulation, Rodgers gave the visitors their final lead of the game. Yenton would take the inbounded ball and nearly give the home team a buzzer-beating victory but his shot would be wide right of the basket. Florida Southern would win 85-83.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 96-45 all-time against Rollins, including a 51-21 mark when facing the Tars in Winter Park.
- Rauch increased his career scoring total to 981 points. He needs just 19 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 1,864 and needs just six more points to pass Kris Kearney for fourth in school history. He has also tallied 748 rebounds, good for seventh in the program record books. His 183 steals are good for seventh, and he needs just two more assists to move into the top 10 in that category.
- Florida Southern will travel to 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).