St. Petersburg, Fla. (March 4, 2008) – Sophomores Quentin Cullop (Winter Haven, Fla.) and Jordan Prais (Lakeland, Fla.) each scored 16 points to lead the No. 7 seed Saint Leo University men’s basketball team (14-14) to a 65-62 upset on the road over No. 2 seed Eckerd College (19-9) on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg.
The Lions will now advance to the SSC Tournament Semifinals on Saturday afternoon where they will face No. 3 seed Tampa at Tampa’s Bob Martinez Sports Center. Opening tip is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
Cullop finished the contest with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists while Prais added a game-high eight rebounds to his 16-point performance. Kyle Rowland (Jr., North Port, Fla.) and Dusty Driggs (Jr., Sharpsville, Ind.) each added eight points in the win. Driggs sank a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to ice the win.
Eckerd began the game with a pair of two-point leads early on, but a 9-0 run gave Saint Leo a seven-point lead 5:05 into the contest. The Lions eventually stretched the lead to a game-high 12 points with 9:15 left in the opening stanza, and although the Tritons closed to within four late in the half, it was Saint Leo who took a 36-29 lead into the break.
Prais hit a lay-up to start the scoring in the second half, and give Saint Leo a nine-point lead. However, Eckerd manufactured a 16-6 run to take a one-point lead with 12:43 left in the game. From there the lead changed hands three times and there were four ties with the final lead change coming with 2:11 remaining in the game when Prais hit a pair of free throws.
After Rowland gave Saint Leo a four-point lead with 1:03 left, Eckerd could only manage a lay-up by Zaronn Cann and a free throw by Cann in the closing stages. Meanwhile, Driggs hit a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds remaining, and the Lions forced a turnover by Morris to seal the win.
Eckerd guard Damone Morris led all scorers with 24 points in defeat for the Tritons. Eckerd also got 16 points from Josh King and 11 points and seven rebounds from Zaronn Cann.
The Lions limited the Tritons to 39.0% (23-of-59) shooting for the game, while shooting a solid 47.1% (24-of-51). Eckerd controlled the glass with a 35-29 rebounding advantage, and although both teams turned the ball over 16 times, Saint Leo outscored Eckerd 19-9 in points off of turnovers.