LAKELAND, Fla. – It was a career night for senior Brett Hanson as No. 7 Florida Southern College men's basketball defeated Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Saturday night at the Streamline Sale Arena inside the Jenkins Field House. With the 82-77 victory, the Mocs improved to 19-2 overall, and 11-2 inside the SSC, while the Eagles fall to 14-7, and 6-7 in the SSC.
Hanson recorded his 2,000th career point in the early part of the first half as he went on to score 20+ points for the fourth straight game. The Mocs saw four total student-athletes reach the double-digit point total as Hanson (23) and Jack Rauch (21) totaled 20+ points. Brandon Carroll (13) and Jair Rodgers (12) both also hit the double-digit point totals. For the second-straight game, Rauch recorded a double-double as brought down 12 rebounds to go with his 21 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Needing five points to hit the 2,000 career point plateau, Hanson wasted no time as he scored four of the Mocs first six points. At the 15:51 mark of the first half, Hanson made history as he became just the third player in Moccasin program history to hit 2,000 career points as he put the home team up, 8-7. For the middle part of the first half it turned in to the Jack Rauch show for Florida Southern as the senior had six points, a pair of rebounds, and a block during this a two-minute span, as FSC would lead the Eagles 14-9.
- The teams would keep the score close over the final seven minutes as neither team would lead by more than three and the lead would only change twice. Florida Southern's E.J. Dambreville would hit a three to put the Mocs up by three. The next four points in the game would come from the free-throw line as Rauch and ERAU's David Park each would hit both free throws. On a career night as the time of the first half expired Hanson would go coast-to-coast as he gave the Mocs a 39-33 lead at the break. Hanson and Rauch recorded 28 of the Mocs 39 points in the first 20 minutes.
- Out of the break, Hanson gave the home team its largest lead of the game up to that point as they led 41-33. However, the Eagles would respond with a 5-0 run to cut the lead to just three. After the Mocs would grow their lead back to five a pair of three-point shots on back-to-back possessions would help the Eagles cut the Mocs lead to just one at 45-44. Carroll would immediately spark an 8-2 run for the Mocs that would push the home teams lead up to seven.
- Over the middle part of the second half, Embry-Riddle would cut the Mocs lead down to one a second time as they capitalized on a missed three-point shot by the Mocs. With just under nine minutes remaining, Florida Southern would begin a 13-3 run as this would be the point they hit their first double-digit lead. As the Mocs led 71-58, the Eagles began to inch their way back, over the final two and half minutes the visitors would go on a 13-2 run of their own to cut the Mocs lead to 76-75 with just 30 seconds to go. After a pair of successful free throws by Jair Rodgers, the visitors would get their final made basket of the night to bring the score to 78-77. The Mocs would tack on four more points from the line to pick up the 82-77 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern netted 28 points off of 17 turnovers by the Eagles. The Mocs' 13 turnovers only led to 13 points for the visitors.
- The Mocs shot 38.0% from the field as the Eagles held a slight edge finishing the night with a field goal percentage of 42.0%.
- Southern was outrebounded by the Eagles 48-40 on the night.
- Hanson added 23 points to his point total to reach and surpass the 2,000 career point mark. His total now sits at 2,018 points, the third-highest total in school history. He has also tallied 783 rebounds, good for seventh in the program's record book. His 198 steals are good for seventh, while his assist total of 400 ranks ninth.
- Florida Southern will head to Boca Raton for a matchup at Lynn (Feb. 5), then the Mocs will return home for a Feb. 8 showdown with the Panthers of Florida Tech at 7:30 p.m.