Lions Take On Ala.-Huntsville Saturday in NCAA Regional
Mar 11, 2016
SAINT LEO, Fla. -The Saint Leo men's basketball team will look to continue their season as they participate in the NCAA South Regional on Saturday, March 12th when they take on host, Alabama-Huntsville at 5:00 p.m. (CT). All games at the regional will be played at UAH's Kelly's Court at Spragins Hall.
The Lions enter as the eighth seed as the Chargers are the first seed in the regional. Saint Leo finished with a 19-11 record as Alabama-Huntsville finished at 23-7 overall.
After finishing the regular season at 18-10 and 10-6 in the SSC, Saint Leo advanced after a 82-73 victory in the quarterfinal matchup over Nova Southeastern on Wednesday, March 2nd to notch their 19th win of the year. The 19th win marks the most wins by a first year head coach in program history. The Lions will look to keep the momentum going heading into the tournament.
LAST TIME OUT … In Saint Leo's last action, Saturday, March 5, when the Lions fell to No. 17 Barry in the Sunshine State Conference semifinals in Daytona Beach, 91-72. Marcus Dewberry led the team with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Caleb Stewart added 14 points as Tyreece Brice had 13. Trail Pierce came off the bench and recorded 12 points for Saint Leo.
Seeds: 1 - Alabama-Huntsville, 2 - Eckerd, 3 - Barry, 4 - West Georgia, 5 - Stillman, 6 - Rollins, 7 - Union, 8 - Saint Leo
Game Times: Barry vs Rollins 12:00 pm // Eckerd vs Union 2:30 pm // Ala.-Huntsville vs Saint Leo 5:00 pm // West Georgia vs Stillman 7:30 pm
Regional semifinals will be on Sunday, March 13th at 5 and 7:30 pm. The regional championship will be held on Tuesday, March 15th at 7:30 pm.
THE MATCHUP … This is the second meeting this year between the two teams where Saint Leo won the first matchup 93-90 in overtime. Four Lions' scored in double-figures as Stewart led the way with 29 points in the game. Dewberry recorded 26 points as Brice had 14 with Lawrence Watt at 10 points.
All five starters for the Chargers reached double-figures led by Seab Webster who had team high 16 points.
TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES …
This is the fourth time in five years the Lions have advanced to postseason play past the Sunshine State Conference tournament, the first since the 2013-14 season.
COACH A (+) … Vince Alexander, who is warmly called 'Coach A' around the athletic department, is one of the most winningest active coaches in all of Division II men's basketball and recently eclipsed the 300 win margin on February 6th in an overtime win. At the time, Alexander was one of 24 active coaches to reach 300 wins in D-II all-time. Being one of those 24 active coaches, Alexander is only one of 79 to do so in Division II coaching only. Saint Leo has wins over nationally ranked opponents this year. The Lions recorded a 93-90 overtime win against #12 Alabama-Huntsville and an 87-84 home victory over #10 Eckerd to highlight the season. His 18 wins so far this season ties him for the most by a coach in their first season at Saint Leo.
THE CAREER MAN ...
Following a 82-73, senior Trey Griseck (2012-16) became the winningest player in Saint Leo men's basketball history with 79 career wins, replacing former Lion Cale Girten (2011-15) who was a part of 78 wins during his career. Griseck has scored 423 points in his career, adding 194 rebounds, 89 assists, and 46 blocks.
TRIED & TRUE TRIO …
This season Marcus Dewberry, Tyreece Brice, Caleb Stewart have teamed up to be a deadly trio. Combined, the three have led the Lions in scoring in 26 of the 29 games this season, Dewberry leading in 10 games, while Brice and Stewart have led in eight games apiece. They have also led the team in rebounding on 25 different occasions, led by Stewart who did it in 13 games. One of them has also led the Lions in assists in every game, with Dewberry leading in 20 games.
TY-NY DETAILS …
Tyreece Brice finished the season fifth in the SSC in shooting percentage at 52.6-percent. While that feat is impressive, what is more impressive is height difference between Brice and the four players who are in front of him. Brice is listed at 5-foot-10 on Saint Leo's roster, an average of NINE inches shorter that the four athletes above him as Corbin Jackson (1st – 63.4%) is 6-foot-6, Adrian Gonzalez (2nd – 61.5%) is 6-foot-5, Tray Leonard (3rd – 59.0%) is 6-foot-9, and Harrison Goodrick (4th -56.9%) is 6-foot-8. And more impressively, Brice has maintained a high shooting percentage while taking 100 three-point field goal attempts, 42 more than the four combined. On his attempts inside the arch, Brice is connecting on 60.1-percent of his shots.
"Tha Carter III" … Freshman Carter Belling has attempted 144 three-point field goal attempts this season, third most on the team, but of those who have attempted 100+, he has the second best shooting percentage at 38.2-percent, hitting 55. In games the Lions have won, Belling is shooting an impressive 43.1-percent, including hitting an average of 2.4 threes per game. In 14 games, he hit multiple threes, and in three games, he made 5-plus three points field goals. His most impressive shooting day was Jan. 2 vs. Palm Beach Atlantic when the freshman connected on six of eight from long range for a clip of 75-percent. He is also shooting 47-percent from deep inside the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
HOME SWEET HOME ... Saint Leo used home court advantage to help win a majority of their games. The Lions posted a 15-2 inside the Marion Bowman Activities Center on the campus of Saint Leo University. At home, the Lions are averaging 87.1 points per game, 3.2 more than the season combined; they are also shooting 46.2-percent from the field, up from 45.2-percent. Defensively they improved as well, holding opponents to just 81.0 points per game, while on the season they allow 83.6 points. The Lions are also 2-0 in overtime games on the season, both played at home, topping Alabama-Huntsville and Lynn.
IN JUST A SINGLE SEASON ... Marcus Dewberry has cracked the top-10 in single-season points score, sitting tied for 7th at 549, as well as assists, sitting at 9th with 133 assists this season. Caleb Stewart sits tied for 8th in single season blocks with 43 so far.
JUST DEW IT ... Marcus Dewberry is in position to call himself one of the best players in Division II basketball. With around 300 men's basketball teams in DII, and roughly an average of 12 guys per team, that roughly 3,600 student-athletes in men's basketball alone. Dewberry finds himself ranked in the top-100 in 12 different categories, putting him in the exclusive top 2.8-percent of those student-athletes. Dewberry is ranked 73rd in points per game, 65th in three-point field goal percentage and total field goals made, 64th in three-point field goals per game, 58th in total points, 57th in three-point field goal attempts, 56th in assists per game, 51st in total three-point field goals made, 46th in total field goals attempts, 41st in total assists, and even more exclusively, Dewberry is ranked 16th in free-throw percentage, and 2nd in total triple doubles.