PAWS UP! LIONS ESCAPE MOCS WITH HELP OF HOME CROWD

By on December 3, 2015

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SAINT LEO, FLA.- It was a fiery Sunshine State Conference rivalry one would expect to see: intense, physical, exciting, and down to the final buzzer. Saint Leo fought for 40 minutes, yet they never backed down against the NCAA Division II National Champions, coming back from a 11-point deficit within the final three minutes to conquer the Mocs from Lakeland, Florida 91-89, improving to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference. This was the third time in the past five seasons where the Lions dominated the Mocs at home, now winning 6 of the past 9 regular season meetings between the two SSC foes. This game also marked the fifth time the Lions have reached 90+ points under Vince Alexander. Sophomore transfer Tyreece Brice recorded 23 points while going 9-for-13 on the night. Freshman Carter Belling continued to dazzle, scoring 20 points, in which 12 of those points came from 3-pointers. Junior Marcus Dewberry also had a productive night, scoring 20 points as well, shooting 9-for-18 from the field.

Florida Southern, on the other hand, had multiple chances to increase their SSC winning streak to 18 games, but never could capitalize in the end to secure a 3-0 conference start. Even under a new coach, the Mocs went back to their old ways of only scoring from outside the arch; over 20 3-pointer attempts were taken between seniors Dominique Williams and Dylan Travis and junior transfer Sheldon Zablotny alone. Florida Southern was ready to wrap up the game with an 11-point lead until the home crowd at Marion Bowman Activities Center started to make an impact. The noise factor grew louder after back-to-back 3-pointers made by Belling and Caleb Stewart tied the game at 87 with a minute and change remaining. A couple of missed free throws and a failed attempt by Dominique Williams to score an extra basket off a missed free throw sealed the Mocs’ doom, suffering their first conference loss and falling to 4-3 overall.

Saint Leo hits the road Saturday for only the second time this season, traveling down to Boca Raton, FL to take on the Lynn Fighting Knights at 4pm. The Lions will look to add another loss to Lynn’s winless conference record currently at 0-3 while sitting at 3-3 overall.

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