FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Four cities, four games, four time zones, eight days and over 4,600 miles finally caught up with the Saint Leo University men’s basketball team as they couldn’t find their legs in a 97-81 loss to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks on Thursday night.
The Lions (6-6), who started the day in Anchorage, where they swept UAA in previous two nights, arrived in Fairbanks before the sun came up and tried their best to rest before their 7:00 p.m. AKST appointment with UAF at the Patty Gym.
It looked as if SLU still had enough for one more contest early on as they traded buckets with the hosts for the first 15 minutes, staying even or holding a lead through the period, but Alaska would go on a 15-6 run in the final 5:04 of the half to surprise the Lions and take a 12 point lead into the lockers.
The Nanooks continued their dominating shooting performance in the second half and saw their lead grow to 22 with just under ten minutes to play. By that time it was obvious that the Lions’ third game in as many days had caught up to the Green & Gold.
Saint Leo distributed the scoring as they have in the four games away from their familiar surroundings as four Lions were in double-figures in scoring with senior Kyle Rowland pouring in 21 points on an 8-of-14 night from the field.
Josue Vazquez, last night’s star in the win over Anchorage, and Matt Salay each had 15 points and Jordan Prais had 12 in the loss as the Lions shot 46 percent (28-of-61) from the field.
Saint Leo now will take the 12-hour trip home that will span December 19th and 20th as they rest their weary legs through the Christmas holiday. The Lions will next don the game jerseys on New Year’s Eve as they open up Sunshine State Conference play in Miami Shores where they will square off against Barry University. Tip-off for the Bucs and the Lions is scheduled for noon on the Barry campus.