January 26, 2013

Lions Leave No Doubt in Handing No. 17 Rollins First Conference Loss

SAINT LEO, Fla. – There was zero doubt that the Saint Leo men's basketball team brought its shooting touch to the Marion Bowman Activities Center on Saturday afternoon.  The Lions, behind a 52 percent night shooting where they hit 14 triples, handed 17th-ranked Rollins College a 79-54 defeat as Saint Leo jumped back into the win column in a big way.

All the shots that didn't seem to fall in their game on Wednesday night couldn't miss on Saturday as it felt like the Lions (13-4, 6-4 SSC) were hitting from all over the court.  Blistering the nets behind a 63 percent shooting average in the first half, the Lions led by nearly 30 points as the Green and Gold seemingly made what looked to be a great conference match-up rather anticlimactic.

Withstanding a small Tars' (14-3, 6-1 SSC) rally that cut the Saint Leo advantage to 14 points, the Lions closed out the SSC win with a 21-10 run to carry the margin to its 79-54 final.

Jerrel Harris posted a career day as he bucketed a game-high 26 points, besting his old mark of 25 he set in the Tuskegee game, as he went 10-16 from the field and drained six three-pointers.  Marcus Ruh was a lone point behind his teammate on 9-of-14 shooting as he hit five treys and pulled down five boards.

Coming off the bench, Trent Thomas added 10 points in the win with nine coming from behind the big arc.

A great defensive effort from the Lions saw just two Rollins players reach double digits on a team that averaged 75.3 points per game this season.  Kyle McClanahan led the Tars with 15 points and Adam Allen added 12.

For the game, the Lions shot 51.9 percent (27-of-52) from the field and an astounding 58.3 percent (14-for-24) from behind the three-point line.  Compare those to the Tars' 33.9 average (19-of-56) and 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from distance and the final tally becomes more evident.

Finishing their first trek through the Sunshine State Conference at 6-2, the Lions take a break from SSC play when they welcome Palm Beach Atlantic into the Bowman Center on Wednesday night. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.  PBA is the first rematch game of 2012-13 as Saint Leo opened up 2013 with a 73-67 victory on January 2 in West Palm Beach.

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