FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – It was not the result the Saint Leo men’s basketball team was hoping for as they traveled to south Florida and could not find an answer in a 77-61 setback to the Nova Southeastern Sharks at NSU’s Don Taft University Center in Sunshine State Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
It was Saint Leo (9-4, 1-3 SSC) who was quick out of the gates as they brought the fight to the home standing Sharks. Neither team could take a significant lead over the first 11 minutes but Nova Southeastern (9-4, 2-1 SSC) eventually created an eight point margin thanks to timely three-point baskets. In fact, the long-range shot proved to make all the difference in the first stanza as the Sharks entered the break with a six point lead.
Both teams shot 41 percent from the floor in the first half but the Sharks drained eight treys and forced nine turnovers while the Lions only managed four 3-pointers.
It was the Sharks that came out stronger in the second half and wasted no time opening up a double-digit lead, hitting that mark with 16 minutes left in the game. Two minutes later the Sharks would go up 49-34 and the Lions would spend the majority of the remainder trying to rally.
The Green and Gold cut the lead to as low as six points but never took control of the game. NSU managed to open the lead back up to 16 points with two minutes to go and closed out the SLU defeat.
For the Lions, two Saint Leo starters were in double-figures as Matt Kendrick scored 19 points and Jeremy Jackson just eclipsed the double-digit plateau with 10 points and a team-leading eight rebounds.
The Sharks were led by Teddy Tassy with 18 points and Alex Gynes as he scored 17 points and corralled a game-high nine rebounds.
After a two-game losing streak, their longest of the season, Saint Leo looks to rebound when they travel to the University of Tampa on Wednesday night to face the 25th-ranked Spartans. Tip-off is set of 7:30 p.m. at the Bob Martinez Sports Center on the UT campus.