Lions claw their way past Benedict Tigers, 75-73

Lions claw their way past Benedict Tigers, 75-73

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo senior Trey Griseck's three-pointer from the top of the arc with 18.6 seconds remaining lifted the Lions to a 75-73 win over South Region foe Benedict College, Tuesday night at the Marion Bowman Activities Center.

Griseck, in just his second game back in the lineup after missing seven games due to injury, was left wide open for an uncontested shot, that proved to be the difference maker as the Lions took down the Tigers. Benedict entered the game ranked fifth in the South Region in this week's D2SIDA Media Poll.

Sophomore Tyreece Brice paced Saint Leo (7-4) with 18 points, while juniors Marcus Dewberry and Austin Pickett each added 12 points. Freshman Carter Belling rounded out the Lions in double-digits with 11 points.

The Basics
Final Score: Barry 87, Saint Leo 85
Records: Saint Leo 6-4, 2-3 SSC | Barry 7-2, 2-1 SSC

1H | A 7-0 Saint Leo early in the first half vaulted the Lions into a 15-12 lead as the game hit the under-12 media timeout. Coming out the media break, Benedict regrouped and answered with an 11-0 run lasting over two minutes, that ended with the Tigers holding a 23-15 advantage before the Lions broke the scoring hex on a Belling three-pointer at the 10:01 mark. Benedict extended its lead to as much as 11 points over the next four minutes before Saint Leo rallied. The Lions outscored the Tigers, 14-6, over the final six minutes of the half, including a 6-0 run to finish the frame, and went into the intermission trailing Benedict by just two points. | Benedict 40-38 |

2H | Saint Leo jumped out to a quick lead to open the second half on a Brice layup and a three-pointer by Belling. Stewart knocked down another trey, giving the Lions an 8-2 run to open the frame and take a 46-42 lead. Benedict responded with an 11-0 run of its own, including seven points by Jordan Smith, that ended with the Tigers holding a 53-46 advantage with 15:15 to play. A Pickett trey followed by a Belling jumper brought the Lions to within two, 58-56, at the 9:35 mark, and the game alternated between a one or two possession contest for much of the next five minutes. Saint Leo finally overtook Benedict with 5:10 remaining on Brice's traditional three-point play, giving the Lions a 68-66 lead. The Tigers briefly regained the lead on a six-point run, before Dewberry's breakaway layup with 1:17 on the clock knotted the game at 72-72. Griseck canned a three-pointer from the top of the arc with 18.6 remaining to give the Lions the lead for good. Defensively, Saint Leo held Benedict to 0-of-5 shooting from the field over the last 3:00 of the game to seal the win; the Tigers' lone point during that stretch was a Hawkins foul shot with 2.5 seconds remaining.| Saint Leo 75-73 |.

Points to Note

Tyreece Brice accounted for his 18 points on a 7-of-9 effort from the floor, including two three-pointers, and was 2-of-2 at the stripe. It was his third straight game cracking double figures.

Brice and Lawrence Watt each hauled down a team-high seven rebounds for the Lions, while Dewberry dished out five assists.

Austin Pickett's 12 points was his second double-digit scoring performance this season, and came on the back of a 4-of-9 effort from beyond the arc. Carter Belling's 11-point effort was his third time reaching double figures in 2015-16.

Saint Leo outrebounded Benedict, 41 to 39 – just the second time this season the Lions have outrebounded an opponent. The Lions' 19 turnovers was the second-most this season.

For the Tigers 

Five Benedict players reached double digits, led by Lafonzo Smith with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Jordan Smith finished with 14 points, while Christopher Spencer added 13 to go with nine rebounds. Justin Metze and Brennan Reynard tallied 12 and 10 points respectively, with Reynard handing out six assists and recording six steals.

Up Next
Saint Leo heads to St. Louis, Mo., for a pair of games in the Maryville (Mo.) University Classic. The Lions face host Maryville on Saturday, Dec. 19, followed by Missouri-St. Louis on Sunday, Dec. 20.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's basketball, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.