Saint Leo Earns 3rd-Place Ranking in NCAA South Region
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With the first NCAA regional rankings of the year released on Wednesday, the Saint Leo men's basketball team received a top regional ranking of third. The Lions' 16-6 regional record sits them just one win behind the number-2 ranked team, No. 19 Delta State.
Just hours after the regional rankings were released, the Lions clinched a 76-73 overtime victory over the No. 8 Florida Southern Moccasins, who rank first in the South Region. Despite the Mocs leading the Sunshine State Conference in scoring, the Lions held Florida Southern to just 73 points on the night. The end result marked the only time this season that the Mocs have scored less than 75 points in a game.
In addition, the Lions' victory signaled the only Florida Southern home loss of the year.
The regional ranking comes at a pivotal time for the Lions, who currently sit in second place in the Sunshine State Conference with an 8-5 conference record.
The 2013-14 season has seen many career accolades fall for the Lions, as players such as Ron Foxx, Jerrel Harris, and Spenser Mitchell have recorded new career-highs in scoring. In addition, Harris, Mitchell, and sophomore Jaylon Bell have notched career-highs in rebounds.
After taking the Lions' to their first ever regional game in 2012 and again in 2013, head coach Lance Randall believes the future of the 2013-14 season is bright for his Lions squad.
"I believe that once again the strength of our non-conference schedule has helped place us in a good position for NCAA tournament post-season play," said Randall. "However, there still are many difficult games to be played that will go long way in deciding who receives one of these coveted NCAA bids."
As one of two conference schools in the top-3 of the regional rankings, the Lions sit above regional rivals such as Barry (4), West Alabama (5), Tuskegee (6), Fort Valley State (7), and Tampa (8). Rounding out the top 10 regional teams are North Alabama (9) and Christian Brothers (10).
The men's basketball team hopes to continue their success on Saturday, February 22 when they host the visiting Lynn University Fighting Knights in one of their three final regular season games. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m. in the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
For more on the Saint Leo men's basketball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter and Instagram.