December 4, 2013

Lions Fall Short in SSC Opener Against Rollins

WINTER PARK, Fla. – In the first Sunshine State Conference contest of the 2013-14 season, the Saint Leo Lions (8-2) fell to the Rollins Tars (5-4) by a 74-68 score, Wednesday night from the Warden Arena on the campus of Rollins College.

The Tars were the first team on the scoreboard in the weeknight matchup, but the lead would change a total of 16 times during the contest. With just under 11 minutes to go in the first half, the Lions squad took the lead and held it until the first twenty minutes of play ended, heading into halftime with a 37-35 lead over the Tars.  

Just after the horn sounded for the second half to begin, however, the Tars came out and regained the lead, thanks to a layup from junior center Chris Uhle. Moments later, two made free throws from Jerrel Harris tied the game at 39-39, and layup by Cale Girten gave the Lions back the lead.

For the majority of the second half, the Lions and Tars fought a tough battle, as neither team held the lead for more than three consecutive plays. After 11 lead changes in the second half alone, the Tars were finally able to outlast the tough Lions defense and escape with a 74-68 win.

Despite the loss, the Lions squad shot 23-54 (43 percent) from the field, while earning a free-throw percentage of 67 percent (10-15). Collectively, the team tallied 32 rebounds, six steals, and 16 assists.

Offensively, senior guard Jerrel Harris led the Lions in scoring with 24 points on the night. Seniors Spenser Mitchell and Chim Kadima followed his lead with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Lions' defensive effort was led by junior Cale Girten, who notched seven rebounds to lead all players in the contest. Kadima also tallied six rebounds, while junior Ron Foxx collected five.

The Saint Leo men's basketball team will return to action on Saturday, December 7 when they host the visiting Albany State University Golden Rams. Tipoff for the contest is set for 4:00 p.m.

For more on the Lions' basketball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' Saint Leo Athletics on Twitter and Instagram.