Lions win fourth straight with 80-63 triumph over Evangel

Lions win fourth straight with 80-63 triumph over Evangel

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo men's basketball kept visiting Evangel University in check with a solid shooting effort all-around and cruised to an 80-63 win over the visiting Crusaders, Saturday evening at the Bowman Activities Center.

Saint Leo (8-4) picked up its fourth win in a row after shooting 51.0 percent (25-of-49) from the field, and a stellar 21-of-23 from the free-throw line.

Five Lions scored in double-digits, led by Ron Foxx with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor, while Edmunds Dukulis went a perfect 7-of-7 from the field on his way to 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Devin Crisosto rounded out the starters in double figures with 12 points, including an 8-of-10 mark at the charity stripe, and dished out a career-high 10 assists.

Trey Griseck and Taylor Bassett added 16 and 11 points off the bench respectively.

The Lions also capitalized on 15 Evangel turnovers, which led to 22 Saint Leo points.

Evangel (6-5) was led by Brodie Wingert with 13 points, while Korry Tillery and Nick Yocum each chipped in 12 points. Yocum also handed out four assists for the Crusaders, who were playing their third game in as many days. Evangel, from Springfield, Mo., began its Florida trip with two games in a tournament at Southeastern College on Thursday and Friday.

Evangel and Saint Leo traded the lead four times in the opening minutes of the first half, before the Lions began to put some distance between themselves and the Crusaders. A Foxx three-pointer extended the Lions' lead to eight points at 15-7, and Griseck's three-pointer with 10:10 left in the half gave Saint Leo its first double-digit lead of the game, 24-14.

Another Griseck trey at the 8:26 mark widened the gap to 12 points in Saint Leo's favor, 30-18, and the Lions still held a 10-point lead with 6:17 to play following a Dukulis layup.

Three consecutive buckets for the Crusaders over a span of nearly three minutes brought Evangel to within four, 34-30, with 2:21 showing on the clock.

A pair of Dewberry foul shots and a conventional three-point play by Dukulis led to the Lions' taking an eight-point lead, 39-31, in the locker room for the intermission.

A 7-0 run midway through the second half helped Saint Leo pad its lead a little more, with Bassett's three-pointer at the 12:51 mark giving the Lions a 54-40 advantage.

From there the Lions began to pull away from the Crusaders and put the game away.

Bassett was fouled on a three-point attempt and drained all three foul shots to give Saint Leo a 16-point lead with 7:13 to play, and a Dukulis layup at the 5:52 mark widen the margin to 18 points, 67-49. The Lions' lead eventually reached 20, 72-52, on a pair of Griseck foul shots at the 3:37 mark.

Saint Leo takes a break for the holidays before returning to action on Saturday, Jan. 3, when it hosts Sunshine State Conference-rival Florida Tech. Tip-off at the Bowman Activities Center is slated for 4:00 p.m.