February 20, 2013

No. 20 Lions Dismantle Tampa in SSC Showdown

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's basketball team bounced back in a big way on Wednesday night as the 20th-ranked Lions dominated the visiting University of Tampa Spartans from start to finish in a 62-48 victory in Sunshine State Conference action from a rowdy Bowman Center.

The Lions (19-5, 11-3 SSC) left little doubt as to the game's outcome, as they jumped out to a double-digit margin just eight minutes into the game and didn't look back.  Shooting 41 percent in the first half and taking a 41-23 lead into halftime, Saint Leo built as much as a 26 point lead midway through the second stanza before Head Coach Lance Randall emptied his bench to allow some underclassmen some solid playing time.

As the game wound down, many of the 880-plus in the Bowman Center began to turn their attention to another game within the SSC.  Watching the result of the Florida Southern-Eckerd contest fall in favor of the Tritons meant Saint Leo regained control of the top spot in the SSC regular season standings with just two games remaining.

Both results, in addition to the announcement that Marcus Ruh was named the Academic All-America of the Year, have the Saint Leo community abuzz with just a week left in the season.

Ruh set the tone for the contest with a game-high 21 points as he connected on 4-of-8 chances from long range.  Trent Thomas also reached into double figures with 12 points including a 4-for-5 effort from the free throw line.

Shaun Adams set the tone defensively with a career-high 14 rebounds in 25 minutes.  The 14 boards surpass his previous mark of 11 in only his second game in the Green and Gold back on November 11, 2011 against Southeastern.

For Tampa (16-10, 3-10 SSC), Stefon Barfield posted a team-high 12 points and Anthony Griffis added 11 in the loss.

The Lions now prepare for their final road trip of the regular season as they travel to Winter Park, Fla. to face the Rollins College Tars on Saturday afternoon.  Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at Warden Arena in the Alfond Sports Center.

For more information on the nationally ranked men's basketball team and all other Saint Leo Athletics' happenings, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @SaintLeoLions.