SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University men’s basketball team pushed their season-best winning streak to four games on Wednesday evening with an 87-83 triumph over visiting Flagler College in non-conference action from the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
On a night where Saint Leo honored their championship women’s soccer and volleyball teams, the men’s basketball squad took their opportunity to show their winning form as they responded from a sluggish first-half to blister the nets in the second.
The Lions, down by as much as eight points in the first, shot nearly 60 percent and saw junior Quentin Cullop score all of his 17 points in the second half to open up as much as a 10-point lead over the visitors from St. Augustine.
After holding an eight-point advantage with just two minutes left, the Lions saw Flagler score the next four points and draw to 80-76 with 65 seconds remaining. The Saints would be forced to foul on the next Lion possession and the Saint Leo free-throw shooting would be put to the test for the remainder.
The Lions would make seven of eight total attempts from the free-throw line to keep Flagler from closing the margin and helping SLU cinch up the win.
Four Lions were in double-figures with Jordan Prais leading the way with 19 points. Cullop's 17 went along with Josue Vazquez and Kyle Rowland, who added 16 points each in the win.
The highlight of the night came with 1:14 left and the game still in doubt. Rowland blocked an attempted Flagler shot which was his fourth rejection of the evening. That final block gave Rowland the all-time blocking record at Saint Leo, surpassing Joe Philon as he now has 124 for his career.
Saint Leo will return to Sunshine State Conference action on Saturday afternoon as they begin their second swing through the SSC. The Lions will face Barry University with the tip-off scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
In their first meeting Saint Leo received a late Christmas present on New Year’s Eve as Jordan Prais hit and overtime buzzer-beater to give the Lions a 72-71 win in Miami Shores.