SAINT LEO, Fla. – The No.20-ranked Saint Leo men's basketball team (4-2), avenged an opening-day loss at the Ames Classic by defeating south region opponent Ft. Valley State University (3-3), 83-65, Saturday evening from the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
Four Lions posted double-digit scoring performances, matching a season-high 23 points from senior guard Marcus Ruh. Trent Thomas poured in 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Chim Kadima and Tom Neary added 11 and 10, respectively. Jerrel Harris led the club with eight rebounds and Ruh dished-out a team-best four assists.
Shooting 54 percent (29-for-54) from the field, the Lions also held a 39-22 rebounding advantage and forced the Wildcats into 14 turnovers. Saint Leo also got to the free throw line 27 times where they converted 17 makes.
"It doesn't necessarily show by the numbers, but I thought we did a better job of defending today," Head Coach Lance Randall said. "Our ball pressure was better, but I thought we played to our identity. We had 38 points in the paint and I thought we pushed the ball."
"I really liked our bench. Our bench came in and got us some minutes. I thought our shot selection was better and we moved the ball well. It was just a better team game. I just thought we played with some toughness and some grittiness tonight."
The Lions will now prepare for their Sunshine State Conference home opener as Nova Southeastern will make an appearance at the Bowman Center on Tuesday, December 11. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.
This postgame recap is brought to you by Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant, located in Brooksville, Fla. Contact Papa Joe's at 352-799-3904 for all dine-in or catering needs.