Men's Basketball Opens Conference Play with a 72-55 Win over Nova Southeastern

SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo men's basketball team (5-2, 1-0 SSC) opened Sunshine State Conference play on Tuesday night with a win over the Sharks of Nova Southeastern (2-2, 0-1 SSC).

Behind a career night from Marcus Ruh, in which he set a new career high in scoring with 27 points, the Lions pulled away from Sharks in the second half after 20 second chance points in the period. The Lions never trailed in the game, and led by as much as 23 at one point in the second half.

In addition to Ruh, two other Lions appeared in double figures in the game, with Jerrel Harris and Trent Thomas each dropping in 13 points. The Lions shot 42 percent from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc, compared to NSU's 40 percent from the field and 36 percent from three. Leading the Lions' rebounding efforts was Tom Neary, who grabbed seven on the night. Shaun Adams let his defensive presence be known with three blocks and two steals.

Saint Leo led by just seven at the half, but after a 12-2 run to start the second half the Lions were able to extend the lead to 48-32 by the time the 15:00 mark of the half was reached.

The Lions dominated in a few different categories including points in the paint, points off turnovers, second chance points, and fast break points. The Lions forced 22 turnovers and were able to put 29 points on the board as a result. Despite gathering one less offensive rebound than the Sharks, the Lions were able to collect 11 more second chance points than their opponent.

"I liked the way we came out aggressive," Head Coach Lance Randall said. "I thought we did a good job of creating some turnovers and turning that into offense. Marcus was dynamite tonight and I thought Jerrel and Trent had some big baskets for us."

The men's basketball team gets back in action on Saturday, Dec. 13 when they travel to Richmond, Va. to take on Virginia Union. 

This postgame recap is brought to you by Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant in Brooksville, Fla.