NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Saint Leo men's basketball team could not overcome 17 turnovers and surrendering 34 bench points in a 66-55 loss to the host University of New Orleans on Tuesday night from the Lakefront Arena.
Playing in their first game in 10 days, the Lions played even with the host Privateers throughout the entire first half. Opening up a five point lead at one point, Saint Leo (5-3) rallied from nearly a double-digit deficit to wrestle control of the game from the hosts. UNO (7-4) would connect on their final five shots of the first stanza to take a 29-27 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half the Lions would spend the entire period attempting to stay even with the Privateers. UNO would open up a large margin, 10 points with 11:56 left, but the Lions would drop it down to just a single point six minutes later. That final point seemed to be a large hill to climb as the Lions saw chance after chance to take the lead come up short.
With time ticking down, New Orleans started connecting on shots from the field and opened up a small margin while every Lion attempt sailed wide. Once the Lions attempted to close the gap by fouling, UNO made all their shots, spreading the final margin to double-figures at the final buzzer.
It was a game where the Privateers, who haven't lost at home in 13 consecutive games, made just two more shots than the Lions, the difference came in the 34-8 margin in points off the bench and in the 17 giveaways courtesy of Saint Leo. Both teams shot in the 40 percent range from the floor and 60 percent from the free throw line.
Junior Shaun Adams led Saint Leo with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting while Trent Thomas also reached into the double-digits with 12 points. Tom Neary was a threat on the boards for the Lions as he tallied 10 rebounds.
For the victors, Lovell Cook shot 7-of-8 from the floor and bucketed 17 points while both Generra Varmall and Brandon Canady scored 12 points for the Privateers.
Saint Leo will look to rebound as they travel back to the Bowman Center and welcome ninth-ranked West Liberty on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. For the latest news, information, and updates on Lions Basketball and all other Saint Leo Athletics, visit SaintLeoLions.com.