Saint Leo, Fla. (February 13, 2008) – A trio of players scored in double figures to lead the Saint Leo University men’s basketball team (11-11, 4-7 SSC) to an 83-79 upset victory over No. 13 ranked University of Tampa (16-5, 9-3 SSC) on Wednesday night in Sunshine State Conference hoops action.
Quentin Cullop (So., Winter Haven, Fla.) led the way for the Lions with a game-high 22 points, while Jordan Prais (So., Lakeland, Fla.) collected his ninth double-double of the season with 17 points and a game-high tying 12 rebounds. Dusty Driggs (Jr., Sharpsville, Ind.) rounded out the trio in double figures with 14 points, including four three-pointers.
After a close start, the Lions pulled out to a six-point lead courtesy of a 7-0 run midway through the opening half. Saint Leo extended its lead to a game-high 13 with 4:35 remaining in the first half. However, Tampa used a 12-0 run to close the half and made it a one-point game at the break.
Following the intermission, the Lions raised their lead back to seven, as Driggs buried a pair of three-pointers in the opening 5:17 of the second half. The Spartans answered with a 10-2 run to gain their first lead since early in the first half with 10:53 to go. The lead exchanged hands eight times from that point, and the Lions used solid free throw shooting in the closing stages to preserve the win, as Kyle Rowland (Jr., North Port, Fla.) and Thomas Kaiser (So., Tampa, Fla.) both went 2-of-2 down the stretch to give the Lions the upset win.
Saint Leo outrebounded Tampa 42-40, and also held a 34-30 edge in points scored in the paint. The Lions shot 51.9% (27-of-52) from the floor compared to a 38.0% (27-of-71) shooting night for the Spartans.
Tampa was led by Jeremy Black and Chris Evans in defeat, as both registered double-doubles. In total, four of Tampa’s five starters were in double figures. However, the Lion reserves outscored the Spartan reserves 16-2 providing a much-needed boost off the bench.
The Saint Leo men’s basketball team returns to the hardwood on Saturday with a trip to Nova Southeastern University. Opening tip for the game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.