ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY – A poor shooting night from the free throw line finally caught up to the Saint Leo men’s basketball team as the Lions went 11-for-22 from the charity stripe en route to an 86-71 loss to Franklin Pierce in the first day of the Molloy Lions’ Classic on Friday night.
Coming into the game unblemished, the Lions jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after just four minutes as Saint Leo (3-1) connected on every shot they took. Pushing the advantage to 12-3 and forcing Franklin Pierce into a timeout, the Ravens responded with a 13-0 run over the next three minutes to take their first lead of the game.
An Allen Young layup would put Saint Leo back in front and start a back-and-forth battle that would carry over the ensuing seven minutes as no team gained larger than a three point cushion.
The final four minutes of the opening half would see FPU close out the stanza with an 8-1 run to give the opponents from Rindge, N.H. a 35-30 advantage as both teams headed to the lockers.
A rocky beginning to the second half saw Saint Leo staring at a double-digit deficit by the 15:52 mark as Franklin Pierce continued their run that started at the end of the first half, taking a 52-42 lead at the 12:30 mark.
One last rally by the Lions would see the score cut to 54-51 when Daniel Oliver rolled in a layup with 9:17 left but Franklin Pierce would respond with a 16-7 run over five minutes to clinch the game.
Shooting 40.6 percent (28-of-69) as a team, the Lions were led by Jeremy Jackson, whose 7-of-17 night earned him 17 points, as he was the only Saint Leo player in double figures.
Matt Kendrick took advantage of his seven foot size to pull down 10 boards, seven coming on the offensive side.
Led by Kinard Dozier’s 24 point night, three Franklin Pierce players hit double-digits as the Ravens outshot the Lions in all three areas.
Saint Leo will look to rebound from their first lost as they play in the second day of the Molloy Lions’ Classic. It will be a battle of Lions as SLU will face off against host Molloy College, losers of their game on Friday. The game is scheduled to get underway at 2:00 p.m. in the Quealy Gymnasium.