Saint Leo, Fla. (January 16, 2008) – Four players scored in double figures, but the Saint Leo University men’s basketball team (7-7, 1-3 SSC) fell 89-80 to Florida Southern College (13-4, 4-1 SSC) on Wednesday night in Sunshine State Conference action.
Jordan Prais (So., Lakeland, Fla.) led the way with a game-high tying 23 points, while also grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. Kyle Rowland (Jr., North Port, Fla.) added 18 points for the Lions with Jonathan Banks (Sr., Tampa, Fla.) scoring 12 and Dusty Driggs (Jr., Sharpsville, Ind.) netting 10.
Florida Southern captured the win courtesy of their long distance shooting, as the Mocs drained a total of 13 three-pointers in the game and shot 44.8% (13-of-29) from beyond the arc in the contest. Rob Eldridge matched Prais with 23 points with Rion Rayfield scoring 20. Brandon Jenkins poured in 14 points for the visitors, and Andrei Grant rounded out a quartet of players in double figures with a 10-point effort.
Florida Southern never trailed in the game, as following two early tie scores the Mocs led from the 16:42 mark of the first half when Eldridge drained one of his three three-pointers. Florida Southern led by as many as 18 points in the opening half before Saint Leo scored the final eight points of the frame to make it a 43-33 game at half-time.
The Lions continued to battle in the second half, using an 8-0 run to move within five with 14:09 left in the game. The Mocs pushed the lead back to 11 points midway through the second half, but the Lions again closed to within five following a three-pointer by Rowland and a pair of free throws by Prais with 6:05 remaining.
Saint Leo would get no closer down the stretch, as Southern made eight straight free throws in the final 3:22, including 6-of-6 in the closing minute to seal the road win.
The Lions return to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon when they host Nova Southeastern in another Sunshine State Conference game. Opening tip is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.