Men’s hoops suffers setback at Maryville tourney

Men’s hoops suffers setback at Maryville tourney

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Saint Leo men's basketball ran its usual up-tempo, fast-paced, shoot-every-15-seconds offense pretty successfully at Maryville (Mo.) University on Saturday afternoon.

The only problem was Maryville ran it even better.

The Saints shot 60.7 percent from the field and knocked down 14 three-pointers and posted a 104-87 win over the visiting Lions, in Saturday's second game of the Maryville Classic at the Simon Athletic Center. It was the first time since 2010 that Saint Leo had yielded 100 points in a game.

Saint Leo shot 49.2 percent from the field – its third-best shooting performance this season – and was one off its season high with 12 three-point field goals.  

Freshman Carter Belling paced Saint Leo with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor, including three three-pointers.

Belling was one of four Lions to crack double-digits. Sophomore Caleb Stewart, senior Trey Griseck, and junior Marcus Dewberry each finished with 14 points. Dewberry dished out five assists, as did sophomore Tyreece Brice, while sophomore Trail Pierce grabbed five rebounds.

The Basics
Final Score: Maryville (Mo.) 104, Saint Leo 87
Location: Simon Athletic Center | St. Louis, Mo.
Records: Saint Leo 7-5 | Maryville (Mo.) 5-6

1H | Saint Leo jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead over Maryville in slightly over two minutes, capping the run with a conventional three-point play by Stewart. Stewart and Dewberry each had three-point buckets during the run. Maryville rallied with a pair of treys by Forrester Sims and a Damyan Stoyanov layup, pulling the Saints to within one, 11-10, with 14:59 remaining. Saint Leo fought off several Maryville challenges, until the Saints took the lead with 3:23 remaining on Jeff Leeson's three-pointer. Karson King scored 10 straight points for the Saints over the final three minutes, including a three-pointer at the buzzer, to take a seven-point lead into the intermission. Stewart and Belling each added jumpers for the Lions down the stretch. | Maryville 50-43 |

2H | Maryville opened the second half with five straight points and steadily pulled away from Saint Leo right from the outset of the frame. Another six-point surge midway through the half ended with Maryville holding a 71-54 lead with 13:03 showing on the clock. The Saints had another quick run two minutes later, built around a Leeson three and a Stoyanov layup, and Maryville's lead was extended to 82-61 at the 11:08 mark; Saint Leo went nearly three-and-a-half minutes during that span without making a field goal. Maryville led by 20 points or more for much of the rest of the game, as Saint Leo was unable to get stops on the hot-shooting Saints. | Maryville 104-87 |.

Points to Note

Griseck's performance was a bright spot for the Lions on Saturday. The senior guard from Orlando, Fla., drained a pair of threes and went a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw line, on his way to 14 points – the best scoring performance of his career against an NCAA Division II opponent, and just two off his career high set in last season's game against NAIA-member Evangel.

The Lions grabbed a season-low 26 rebounds on Saturday, but just six fewer than the 32 boards hauled in by the Saints – predictably low figures, as both teams shot the lights out. Saint Leo was shooting well over .500 for most of the game, and saw that field goal percentage dip only over the final five minutes of the game as the Lions began forcing a few more shots in a bid to catch the Saints.

For the Saints 

Forrester Sims led the Saints with a career-high 31 points; he was 8-of-16 from the floor with five treys and went a perfect 10-of-10 at the foul line. Sims also handed out six assists.

Four other Saints finished in double digits. Marvin Grant-Clark charted 18 points and six rebounds with four assists, while Jeff Leeson came off the bench to add a career-best 17 points with three three-pointers. Karson King and Damyan Stoyanov chipped in 14 and 12 points respectively.

Maryville's 104 points was the most since the 2009-10 season.

The Saints entered Saturday's game against Saint Leo averaging just 78.5 points over 10 games this season, with a high of 100 points against USCAA-member Robert Morris-Peoria.

Up Next
Saint Leo completes play in the Maryville (Mo.) University Classic on Sunday, Dec. 20, when it faces Missouri-St. Louis. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 pm Eastern Time (1:00 pm in St. Louis) at Maryville's Simon Athletic Center.

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.