TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. – Behind an outstanding outing from Matt Kendrick, the Saint Leo men’s basketball team handed host Florida College a 75-59 defeat as the Lions squared off against the Falcons in a non-conference tilt at FC’s Conn Gymnasium on Friday night.
In a departure from the conference and NCAA schedule, the Lions traveled to the tiny gym in the middle of Temple Terrace and had a hard time adjusting to the loose iron and interesting atmosphere that the hosts had to offer.
Relying more on their defense in the early going, Saint Leo (11-15) held the Falcons to just 24 percent shooting in the first half, as FC connected on 10-of-41 shots in the opening stanza. The Lions, finally getting used to the setup over halfway through the first half, took a 17-17 tie with 5:57 left and stretched it to an 11-point advantage at halftime.
The second half saw Florida College (10-14) cut the lead to seven points twice, but the rest of the period stayed in comfortable double-digits as the Lions rotated their lineup with 11 players seeing court time.
Kendrick posted another double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds as he also blocked and astounding six FC shots in just 23 minutes. Jeremy Jackson scored a team high 16 points in the win as the Lions shot an impressive 47.6 percent (30-for-63) from the field.
The only thorn in the Lions’ side was the Falcons’ Jesse Hastings, who was 9-of-17 with 24 points and seven rebounds.
The Lions will now look toward a bye weekend in the Sunshine State Conference before heading to Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday night to face Florida Southern. The Mocs will be looking for a measure of revenge while the Lions are looking to close out the season sweep after a 91-79 SLU win at the Bowman Center in early January.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Jenkins Field House on the FSC campus.