VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Saint Leo men’s basketball team shot just 37 percent from the floor, but held a 26-12 advantage in free throws as the Lions defeated Delta State 75-66 in the second day of the GSC/SSC Crossover played at the Complex at Valdosta State University.
The first 12 minutes of the game were tightly contested as the two teams traded the lead four times while seeing the score tied on five occasions as well. Saint Leo (2-0) eventually grabbed the lead as it got a trey and three free throws in quick succession before a lay-up gave the Lions a 26-18 advantage. Delta State (0-2) got to within three points over the closing minutes of the half, only to have SLU claim a 35-28 halftime lead.
The Statesmen used a short run in the opening minutes of the second half to close to within 37-35, only to have the Lions respond again with a 12-3 run to gain a 49-38 lead.
The Saint Leo lead would close to within three points twice over the remainder of the game, but DSU was able to get no closer.
Matt Kendrick scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds to lead the Lions while Delta State's Ken Mitchell had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Poellnitz led DSU with 21 points.
Returning to the Saint Leo campus unblemished, the Lions will open their home schedule on Tuesday evening when they host Trinity College (Fla.). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Marion Bowman Activities Center on the Saint Leo campus.