VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Saint Leo men’s basketball team had trouble hanging on to the basketball on a cold and rainy Friday evening and, as a result, turnovers helped sink the Lions in their 80-55 loss to 3rd-ranked Valdosta State University in the first day of The Loop Pizza Grill Classic played at the VSU Complex.

The Lions (4-4) committed 22 turnovers and the host Blazers managed to bucket 34 points off of those gifted possessions en route to VSU’s 25-point win.

In addition to turnover bug, the Lions hit just 19-of-54 shots (35.2 percent) while Valdosta (7-0) drained 31-of-72 attempts (43.1 percent) and hit nine treys, compared to just two on the Green & Gold side of the ball.

The game started in fairly competitive fashion as SLU held the undefeated Blazers to just a slim lead through the first five minutes.  In fact, the Lions drew even with the hosts from Valdosta with 13:30 left in the first half, but it was as close as Saint Leo would come.

The next five minutes saw VSU decide the game as they outscored SLU 22-8 in taking a 14 point lead, giving them control of the contest and leaving the Lions trying to regain momentum for the remainder.

Three Lions still managed to rack up double figures, led by senior Jordan Prais who posted another double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, both team highs.  Junior Jeremy Jackson dropped in 12 points and junior Jamal Thompson added 11 in the loss.

Valdosta’s Tyrone Curnell scored a game-high 16 points on a 7-of-13 night as his 28 minutes helped the Blazers stay undefeated.

Saint Leo will look to rebound as they remain in Valdosta on Saturday to face West Florida.  The Lions and Argos will tip-off at 4:00 p.m. at the VSU Complex on the campus of Valdosta State University.