SAINT LEO, Fla. – It wasn’t quite the outcome that Coach Mike Madagan was hoping for as the luck the Lions have had despite not having their scoring leader on the court ran out in their 80-65 loss to the University of Tampa in Sunshine State Conference action from the Bowman Center on Wednesday night.
A productive first half saw the Lions quickly jump out to a 10-3 lead, but the Spartans would come back to take their first lead at 11-10 with 14:31 to go in the first half.
As is typical of the SLU season, the Lions would then engage themselves in a back and forth battle with the visiting Spartans for the next 10 minutes. Holding a one-point lead on a layup by Matt Kendrick, the Lions would see Tampa’s Anthony Labruno hit a jumper with 1:32 to go, giving UT a 30-29 lead. Labruno’s bucket would start a 7-0 run that would send the Spartans into the lockers with a 35-29 lead.
A lethargic Lions squad would show up in the second half as the Spartans opened their lead to as much as 17 with 8:53 to go in the game. For the remainder, Saint Leo would work at keeping the game away from a double-digit margin, but Tampa would ruin even those efforts at they drained two 3-pointers in the last 90 seconds to push the margin to 15 as the final horn sounded.
Playing without senior Jordan Prais for the second-straight game, Saint Leo was led by junior Saladeem Dewberry’s 19 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Dominick Robinson added 14 points and junior Jeremy Jackson bucketed 10 in the loss.
Tampa was led by Callum Townsend’s 17 points from the bench as five Spartans scored in double-figures.
Saint Leo will take a weekend break from conference action as they travel to Temple Terrace, Fla. to take on Florida College on Friday night. The Lions and Falcons will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. at the Conn Gymnasium on the FC campus.