Saint Leo, Fla. (January 31, 2007) – The Saint Leo men’s basketball team (10-10, 4-6 SSC) was overcome 68-55 by the University of Tampa (12-10, 4-6 SSC) on Wednesday night in a Sunshine State Conference clash.

Saint Leo senior guard J.J. Turner (Tampa, Fla.) had a big night for the Lions, as he scored a game-high tying 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting with all of his field goals coming from beyond the three-point arch.

However, Tampa forward Jeremy Black proved too much for Saint Leo, as Black matched Turner with 24 points and added a game-high 14 rebounds.  Tampa’s Chris Evans also reached double figures with 12 points, while grabbing eight boards.

After SLU’s Richard Blue (Sr., Miami, Fla.) opened the scoring and Quentin Cullop (Fr., Winter Haven, Fla.) added a three-pointer to give the Lions a 5-1 lead, Tampa answered with a 6-0 spurt to take the lead for good.  The Spartans led by as many as seven in the opening frame and eventually took a four-point lead into the locker room.

The Spartans led by just one with 12:11 remaining in the contest before a 14-1 run helped the visitors open their largest lead of the game with 5:07 left to play.  The Lions closed to within seven twice down the stretch but could get no closer, as Tampa earned a split of the season series with a 13-point win.

Saint Leo will return to action on Saturday, February 3 when it hosts Florida College in a non-conference game.  Opening tip is slated for 4:00 p.m. and will be the second half of a doubleheader.