LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo men’s basketball team could not pull off the road upset as they were overpowered by the Florida Southern Moccasins in an 95-84 loss in Sunshine State Conference action from the Jenkins Field House on Wednesday night.
The Lions jumped out to an 8-2 lead behind two Quentin Cullop treys and a Matt Kendrick bucket in the first three minutes of the game, but it lasted less than two minutes. A pair of free throws by Brandon Jenkins at the 15:30 mark put the Moccasins ahead 9-8 and, after one brief tie at 11-11, Saint Leo (10-12, 1-11 SSC) would not hold the advantage for the remainder. A 9-0 FSC run in the final 1:49 of the first half pushed the lead to 52-37 at halftime.
The Moccasins (17-6, 8-3 SSC) kept the lead in double digits the entire second half, pushing it to as much as 25 points at 74-49 with 11:28 remaining.
As a team, the Lions shot a respectable 46 percent (29-of-63) but could not keep pace with the hosts, who shot almost 53 percent (36-of-68) from the field. Saint Leo also drained 52 percent (15-of-29) of their 3-pointers.
With their struggles from the free throw line during the season, the Lions managed an impressive 84.6 percent (11-of-13) shooting from the charity stripe. But just like the other stats, the Mocs dropped in 92.3 percent (12-of-13) of their free throws.
Four Lions were in double figures in the game with Jamal Thompson posting a team-high 21 points. Dominick Robinson was a point shy of Thompson with 20 points, while Kendrick added 18. Cullop rounded out the high scorers for the Lions with 17 points.
FSC’s Rion Rayfield posted a game-high 24 points in the Mocs win.
Saint Leo will stay on the road as the Lions head to Winter Park on Saturday and face Rollins College. The Lions and Tars will tip-off at 4:00 p.m. at Warden Arena on the Rollins campus.