WINTER PARK, Fla. – Despite a trio of Lions scoring in double-figures, the Saint Leo men’s basketball team (8-12, 2-5) fell to the Rollins Tars (14-3, 6-1 SSC), 73-60, in an SSC road clash from the Alfond Sports Center.
Individually, Josue Vazquez posted a game-high 18 points, while Jordan Prais dropped in 14 to go along with his five rebounds. Dominick Robinson also played a critical role for SLU chipping in 11 points and grabbing 5 boards.
As a team, Saint Leo shot s a solid 37 percent from the field (20-for-54), but could not match the 52.8% (28-for-53) the Tars threw up at the rim. The Lions were also out-rebounded 32-27, but did a fantastic job protecting the basketball only committing 11 turnovers. SLU also did their job from the line connecting on 16-of-20 shots and forcing a season-high 10 steals.
Early in the game, the Lions controlled the paint scoring nine of their first 13 points as result of the layup to give them an early 13-11 lead. Rollins, however, began to turn the tables on the Green & Gold midway through the first half as they went on a 21-8 run to take a 31-20 lead.
The Lions, thanks to superb free throw shooting and extensive interior play, were able to stay in the contest as the halftime horn drew close cutting the lead to 10 going into intermission.
Vazquez was the leading scorer in the half, pouring in eight of his 18 points, while Jeremy Jackson went 3-for-6 from the field en route to a seven point half.
Trailing 34-24 out of intermission, the Lions began to chip away at the advantage. Early baskets by Prais and Vazquez helped in the comeback mission, but a 5-0 rally by Robinson cut the lead to five, 40-35, three minutes into the half.
Unfortunately, it was as close as the Lions got all night. The SLU rally was immediately countered by the opposition with a 12-2 run, opening a 51-37 advantage with 14:11 remaining.
Rollins maintained their running margin of 14 over the remainer of the half, not allowing Saint Leo to break into the double-digit advantage for the rest of the game.
Vazquez and Prais ripped off 10 points apiece in the second period in a combined 28 minutes of play. Prais’ 14 points leaves him five points shot of taking over second-place on the all-time Saint Leo scoring list.
Next up for the Lions is a SSC battle with Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. Tip-off for the game is set for 7:30 p.m.