January 11, 2012

Robinson’s Three Propels Lions to 60-57 Conference Triumph over Mocs

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo junior Dominick Robinson drained a three-pointer with just .6 seconds left as he sent the Lions to a wild 60-57 win over visiting Florida Southern in Sunshine State Conference action on Wednesday evening from the Bowman Center.

"I thought we had some great defensive possessions," Head Coach Lance Randall said. "Our toughness on the defensive end kept us in the game. Dom hit a huge shot. I am happy for these guys. They earned a special ending tonight."

He finished with one final thought, "Our crowd was great tonight. Our students had the Bowman Center rocking all night."

The final 39 seconds started off looking bleak as the Lions (8-6, 2-2 SSC) missed a shot that put the visiting Mocs in prime position to break the 57-57 tie.  Following a Moccasin timeout, the visitors attempted to push the ball underneath for a layup but an errant pass across the paint found the ball back in the Lions' hands when Trent Thomas intercepted it.

Not using the Lions' final timeout, Coach Randall allowed Saint Leo to play out the final 21 seconds. Pushing the ball down the court, Thomas attempted to drive the lane before dishing the ball outside to Tom Neary.  Neary opted to hold the ball instead of shooting what appeared to be an open jumper as he passed it back up top to Robinson.  The Casselberry, Fla. native would flip the ball to Thomas with just 10 seconds left to play and then flare out to set up for a shot from the left side.

With the crowd counting down, the pass caught Robinson with less than three ticks left.  Wide open from NBA range, he launched a textbook shot that caught nothing but net and sent the large Bowman Center crowd into pandemonium.

After the officials put .6 seconds back on the clock, Florida Southern's (8-5, 2-3 SSC) final shot, a heave from nearly 90 feet, would bounce off the backboard at the buzzer.

It was a final minute that capped off a wonderful Sunshine State Conference tilt between the two schools that are just 33 miles apart.  The back-and-forth game finished with 11 ties and seven lead changes.  The final rally by Saint Leo saw the Lions answer a nine point advantage; the game's largest, that Florida Southern held with eight minutes left.

Holding a 27-25 advantage at halftime, the visitors from Lakeland, Fla. outshot the Lions by nearly 15 percent but only hit one of eight free throw shots in the period.  Free throws would prove to be a big deciding factor in the game, this time benefitting the Lions, as Southern only went 8-of-18 from the stripe.

Robinson's trey capped off a 16 point night as he led the Lions on 6-of-9 shooting. Trent Thomas also registered double figures with 12 points including three 3-pointers.

Leaving Pasco County with a loss for the first time in two years, the Moccasins were led by Brett Bailey's game-high 17 points.

The Lions will take the momentum from their biggest win so far in 2011-12 into their next game on Saturday against the SSC's top team in Rollins.  The Lions and Tars will tip-off on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in the Bowman Center. For the latest news, information, and updates on Lions Basketball and all other Saint Leo Athletics, visit SaintLeoLions.com.