SAINT LEO, Fla. – After moving up in the NABC rankings to seventh, the Florida Southern College men's basketball team completed another season sweep on the year. This time they took down the Lions of Saint Leo University in a high scoring affair, 114-103. The Mocs improved to 18-2 overall, and 10-2 inside the SSC, while the Lions fall to 13-7, and 7-5 in the SSC.
Senior Brett Hanson inched closer to another career milestone as he recorded 29 points and was one of five Moccasins with double-digit point totals. Brandon Carroll (27) and Jack Rauch (21) joined Hanson with 20+ points. Jalyn Hinton (14) and DeAndre Campbell (11) both also hit the double-digit point totals. Rauch recorded a double-double as he brought down 11 total rebounds to go with his 21 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Just as he started the past two games, Hanson recorded the game's first points as he stepped back and drained an uncontested three to give the visiting team an early three-point lead. After an offensive foul by Hanson, Saint Leo's Isiah Hill took a shot from just in front of the Mocs bench to match Hanson and tied the score at 3-3. This would spark a 7-0 run for the Lions. Not wanting the visiting team to fall too far behind early on Hanson hit his second three-point shot to bring Florida Southern within one point, 7-6. Hinton would recover the offensive rebound and put the Mocs back on top, 8-7. Southern and Saint Leo would trade baskets heading into the under 16-minute media timeout but FSC would hold the lead 13-9.
- Saint Leo took advantage of the stoppage in play as they would go on a 15-3 run over the next 3:30 of play to grab a 24-16 home team lead. As the Florida Southern offense went cold, the Lions forced three turnovers limiting the Mocs to just one made basket on only three attempts.
- Rauch woke up the offense as he took a pass from Xavier Rhodes and sparked a 9-0 run over a 1:30 span that put the Mocs back on top, 25-24. The two teams would trade points through the under eight media timeout as the lead would change twice but neither team would hold a lead greater than four. Florida Southern would answer a 6-0 run by Saint Leo with another 9-0 run as four of those points would come from the charity stripe to give the visitors a five-point lead, 41-36, with 5:13 to play in the first 20 minutes.
- Saint Leo would use a three by Tyler Carter and a pullup jumper by Gintaras Bartakas to tie the game at 41-41. Just as the Lions attempted to gain some momentum, as DeAndre Campbell got the and-1, a Class A technical foul was called on the Lion's Wade Coomer. Head Coach Mike Donnelly would tab Rauch to go to the line, the senior would hit both shots for a 46-43 Moccasin lead with 2:32 remaining in the first half. Over the final minutes of the opening stanza, the Mocs would lead by six - three different times.
- On Florida Southern's final possession of the first half, Hinton brought down the offensive rebound and waited for the right moment to come back up and give the Mocs a 55-49 lead with 29 seconds left. On the other end of the court, the Lion's Malik Fuller was fouled by Campbell and would make both of his free throws with no time on the clock. Florida Southern took a 55-51 lead into the half.
- The Lions wasted no time out of the break as Hill opened the half with a three to cut the home teams deficit to just one. Following an intentional foul on the Lions' Hill, Hanson put away both free throws. As the Mocs would get the ball back E.J. Dambreville put his teams lead back to five, 59-54. As it was clear the visitors were gaining momentum, they used a 7-0 run to gain the games' first double-digit lead for either team.
- Southern would continue to grow its lead by as much as 17 before the Lions used a five-point possession to cut the Mocs lead to 12. After pushing the lead to 19, the offense could not hit a shot as the Lions used this time to cut the visitor's lead to as low as nine, 86-77.
- Southern would end the scoreless drought as Carroll put home the three-point shot to push the lead back to double-digits. Following the ensuing basket by the Lions, Hanson would get called for an offensive foul under the basket, his fifth of the night, thus ending tonight's quest for 2,000 career points.
- The Mocs were gaining all the momentum in the game, even as its leading scorer was sent to watch the remainder of the game from the bench. As Saint Leo kept hitting its shots, the Mocs would have answers as they maintained at least an eight-point lead through the final five minutes of play. Rauch would hit a hook shot jumper to give the Mocs 100 points on the night, just the fourth time this season. Florida Southern would close out the game in the final minute of action with three trips to the free-throw line as they earned a 114-103 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Both teams turned the ball over 13 times, Florida Southern turned those into 18 points while the Lions only managed 14 points on the night off turnovers.
- The Mocs hit 56.1% from the field as the Lions ended with a 45.3 field goal percentage.
- FSC held a slight advantage over the Lions as they out-rebounded them, 41-39.
- For the fourth time this season, the Mocs hit triple-digit points. They are now 2-2 on the season in games when one teams' score hits triple digits. They have given up 100+ points three times this season and tonight was the first victory.
- Hanson pushed his career scoring total to 1,995, the third-highest total in school history. The senior needs just FIVE points to become just the third player in program history to record 2,000 career points. He has also tallied 776 rebounds, good for seventh in the program's record book. His 195 steals are good for seventh, while his assist total of 397 ranks ninth.
- Florida Southern will open February when the Eagles of Embry-Riddle come to the Streamline Sale Arena at the Jenkins Field House on Feb. 1.