SAINT LEO, Fla. – Coaching in the final game of his 30-year career, head men’s basketball coach Mike Madagan went out on top as his Lions dominated from start to finish in an 85-70 win over Barry University in Sunshine State Conference action on Senior Day Saturday from the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
After an extensive ceremony honoring both the seven graduating seniors and Coach Madagan, once tip-off finally came, it was the Lions who started off with the hot hand, scoring 14 of the game’s first 15 points. A fast paced first half that didn’t see the first media break until the 13-minute saw the Lions open a double-digit lead that would not disappear through the remainder of the game.
Saint Leo (12-16, 2-14 SSC) would eventually extend the advantage to as much as 22 points in the opening minutes of the first half. Hitting shots from nearly everywhere on the floor the energy that the Lions held for three-quarters of the game would wear down enough to see Barry (9-17, 5-11 SSC) close the gap to as much as 11 points.
Fortunately for Saint Leo, there were only two minutes remaining in the contest and the Bucs would not close it anymore.
Picking up the win in their final game of the season, the Lions saw three season pull their weight with Jamal Thompson scoring a game-high 24 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Quentin Cullop, the Lions’ 21st 1,000 point scorer, set another mark when he became the program’s all time leader in 3-pointers when he connected on his second trey of the game with 10:27 left in the first half. He finished his Saint Leo career with 220 three’s and 1256 points, 12th all-time at SLU.
Daniel Oliver joined the scoring with 10 points.
As a team, the Lions connected on nine 3-pointers and shot 30 percent (9-of-30) from behind the big arc. Their aim from long-range contributed to a 44 percent (27-of-62) shooting percentage from the floor.
The Buccaneers had three players in double figures with senior Willie Whitfield leading the way with 15 points. Barry shot 43 percent (25-of-58) form the floor and 24 percent (14-of-28) from the 3-point line.
A weakness all season, the Lions turned free-throw shooting into a positive in their final game as they connected on 22-of-28 shots, a 79 percent average.
The final game of his Saint Leo career, Madagan collected his 104th win as the leader of the Lions. He finishes as the second longest serving coach in Saint Leo history and leaves behind a game he loved for over 30 years.
In addition to Madagan, Thompson, Cullop and Oliver; it also marked the final game of the careers of Jeremy Jackson, Matthew Salay, Saladeem Dewberry and Walter Perkins.