SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's basketball team opened up its home slate in thrilling fashion as the Lions outlasted the visiting Shorter Hawks in a fast-paced 89-81 shootout in non-conference action at the Bowman Center on Sunday afternoon.
Opening up the home schedule, fans in attendance got their money's worth as they saw a contest where both teams shot over 45 percent from the floor and 170 points were scored. In the end, it was the Lions' ability to make clutch shots when they were needed and their ability to hold onto a double-digit advantage in the closing minutes of the game.
Saint Leo saw five players score in double digits, including three Lions coming off the bench to rack up big point totals. In all, the Lions outscored Shorter (1-2) 35-11 off the bench and 14-3 in second chance points as the Green and Gold only allowed the visitors from Rome, Ga 11 offensive boards, including just three in the first half.
It was the intangibles, and a hot-shooting day from senior Jerrel Harris that helped put the Lions on top. Harris, coming off an outstanding trip to Puerto Rico, dropped in team-leading 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting in 30 minutes. Two Lions, senior Spenser Mitchell and newcomer Ron Foxx, added 13 points each with Mitchell going 6-of-7 from the field capped off by a great alley-oop dunk in the final minute that helped to concrete the victory.
Newcomers Marcus Dewberry added 12 points and Devin Crisosto added 10 in the South Region win. It was Foxx, Dewberry and Crisosto who came off the bench in their first game at the friendly confines to contribute for the Lions.
Shorter had four players in double-figures led by a double-double performance from Jordan Jacks where he scored 10 points and had 12 rebounds while Dedric Ware scored a game-high 23 points.
With both teams connecting on an equal amount of 3-pointers and the Hawks connecting on 20 free throws to the Lions' 12, the true difference in stats came from the Lions willingness to shoot the ball. Saint Leo hoisted up 75 shots, connecting on 34 of them while Shorter was the more conservative team, only connecting on 26 of its 57 attempts.
Saint Leo will now turn its attention toward the Flagler Saints on Tuesday evening. The Lions have another quick turnaround game but will be ready when they welcome the Saints from St. Augustine, Fla. into the Bowman Center for the 8 p.m. tip off.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's basketball team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.