SAINT LEO, Fla. – The fourth seeded Saint Leo's men's basketball team advances to the semifinals of the Sunshine State Conference tournament after defeating the fifth seeded Nova Southeastern Sharks 82-73 in a quarterfinal matchup in the Marion Bowman Activities Center on Wednesday, March 2nd.
The Lions improved to 19-10 on the year marking the most wins by a first year head coach in program history. The previous best was 18 wins by Lance Randall in 2011-12. Coach Alexander now owns 304 career wins in his 17 years of coaching.
After the game went back and forth late in the second half, Saint Leo was able to pull out to a nine point victory to advance in the conference tournament. The Lions finished the game outscoring Nova Southeastern 14-5 to seal the game. Saint Leo went 11-for-14 from the free throw line to go on for the win.
Both Dewberry and Stewart's recorded Saint Leo's 26th and 27th 20-point performances for the Lions. Stewart's double-double was the fifth of the season by a player in the Green and Gold this year.
The Basics Final Score: #4 Saint Leo 82 | #4 Nova Southeastern 73 Location: Bowman Center, Saint Leo, Fla. Records: Saint Leo 19-10, | Nova Southeastern 11-16
How It Happened 1H | The visiting Sharks would open the scoring at the 18:33 mark with a three pointer by Harrison Goodrick. Marcus Dewberry would tie the game just under a minute and a half later. The next two and a half minutes would stay close going back and forth before Saint Leo would push out to a five point lead on a pair of Dewberry free throws with 14:51 to play in the opening half. The Lions would hold their lead until shooting went cold and Nova Southeastern tied the game at 19-19 with 7:32 on the clock. The Sharks pushed out to their largest lead of nine point two times in the final two minutes before Dewberry hit a corner jumper with 47-seconds to play, as Saint Leo would head into the locker room down 34-27. Marcus Dewberry led the Lions with 11 first half points while Trey Griseck snagged four boards. Nova Southeastern was led by Harrison Goodrick who was one rebound shy of a double-double in the first half with 12 points and nine rebounds. Cold shooting to end the first half saw Saint Leo make two of their last 11 field goals as the Sharks went five of their last seven to take the lead. | Nova Southeastern 34-27 |
2H | Saint Leo came out of the half and cut the Sharks lead to one point after five minutes of play as Dewberry hit a three, 44-43 NSU. Saint Leo kept their foot on the gas and made the pace of the game speed up as the Lions would take the 48-47 lead on a Stewart layup with 12:14 to go. The Sharks regained the lead by three before Trey Griseck hit a jumper to cut the lead to one. Dewberry would hit another three to give the Lions the go ahead by one, 54-53. Stewart notched his second career double-double with 7:35 to play on a put back off a Belling three point miss. Nova Southeastern would go on a 5-0 run to get within one point, 59-58. Stewart would go on a 10 point scoring spree to carry Saint Leo out to a 65-61 lead with 5:17 to play. Nova Southeastern would tie the game at 68 a piece with 3:24 to play and take their last lead of one point with 2:42 to play, 69-68. Saint Leo would extend their lead to a 10 point margin with 12-seconds to go as the Lions connected on nine free-throws over the last 1:58. Saint Leo grabbed five defensive boards in the final two minutes and a steal by Brice helped Saint Leo go on for their 19th win of the season. Stewart added 18 second half points to lead the Lions as Dewberry added 15 in the second half alone. Nova's Dwayne Gibson led the Sharks in the second half with 11 points. | Saint Leo 82-73 |
Points to Note
19 wins is the most by a first year head coach (Saint Leo 19-10 on the year).
Caleb Stewart recorded his second career double-double matching his career high in rebounds with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Marcus Dewberry led all scorers with 26 points on 4-of-10 shooting from 3-point territory.
Saint Leo shot a combined 24-64 from the field (37.5-percent) and 11-34 from three point land (32.4-percent.
Stewart went 9-of-11 from the free-throw line to lead the Lions who shot 23-for-29 (79.3-percent).
Saint Leo caused 17 turnovers leading to 20 points with 10 steals.
The Lions outscored Nova on second chance points 13-6.
For the Sharks
Nova was led by Harrison Goodrick who had his own double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Chris Page added 16 points as Dwayne Gibson had 15 points for the Sharks.
Nova had the slight edge in rebounding 40-39.
The Sharks inside game played a difference in the game as they outscored Saint Leo 44-22.
Up Next Saint Leo will face first seed Barry in the first semifinal game on Saturday, March 5th at the ICI Center in Daytona Beach as part of the Sunshine State Conference tournament, where the tip is slated for 12pm.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.