Men’s basketball drops season opener to No. 5 Ala.-Huntsville

Men’s basketball drops season opener to No. 5 Ala.-Huntsville

FLORENCE, Ala. – The Saint Leo men's basketball team went toe-to-toe with the talented No. 5 Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the 2016-17 season opener, but fell just short 82-80 in the final seconds after getting off several shots at Flowers Hall on the campus of the University of North Alabama.

Marcus Dewberry led all scorers on the evening with 30 points, 10 in the first half and 20 in the second half. The Lions, 0-1, held a slight lead at the half before battling the Chargers off in the second half.

"I am never satisfied with losing, but I am very proud of my team, including the coaching staff for the game tonight," Head Coach Vince Alexander stated after the 82-80 loss to Ala.-Huntsville. "It was an overall good job, but we must execute and pay attention to detail down the stretch."

Necdet Gurkan, Trail Pierce, Justin Satchell, Tyreece Brice and Marcus Dewberry all got the start in the two-point setback. Gurkan was second on the team in scoring as he posted 10 points in his first game since the 2014-15 season. 

The Basics
Final Score:  Saint Leo 80 | No. 5 Ala.Huntsville 82
Location: Flowers Hall | Florence, Alabama
Records: Saint Leo 0-1 | No. 5 Ala.-Huntsville 1-0

How It Happened…
1H | Saint Leo jumped out on top of Ala.-Huntsville with the first two points of the game from Marcus Dewberry before the Chargers came back to an 11-7 lead with 14:33 to play in the opening half. The remaining time would see the game stay close and allow both teams to jump out to slight leads followed by a flip in the score, ending in the Lions up by three at the break. Dewberry led all players in scoring at the half with 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting with 2-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc. | Saint Leo 33-30 |

2H | The first 15 minutes of the second half would see the Lions and Chargers go back and forth in taking the lead before the Lions snagged an eight-point lead with 5:55 to play on a Davon Payne three-pointer, 73-65. Over the next two minutes, UAH went on a 9-1 run to tie the game with 3:32 to play. Necdet Gurkan put the Lions up 80-79 with a minute and a half to play before Troy Saxton hit a three-point with 26 ticks left on the clock, lifting the Chargers in front of the Lions 82-80. In the closing 20-seconds, the Lions missed three-three pointers. Marcus Dewberry added 20 points in the second half where Antoine Tobias scored all nine of his points in the second half. | Ala.-Huntsville 82-80 |

Points to Note

  • Marcus Dewberry added 30 points to his career total after opening up his senior campaign as the leading scorer in the game. Dewberry finished the night off on 10-of-21 shooting and 6-of-13 from three-point land. Dewberry went a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line on the evening.
  • Necdet Gurkan scored 10 points on the night on 4-of-8 shooting with one three-pointer.
  • Justin Satchell, Darius Huggins, Davon Payne, Antoine Tobias, Malik Fuller and Drago Popovic all scored in their debut in the Green and Gold.
  • As a team, the Lions shot 30-of-79 for 38-percent and 9-of-30 from beyond the three-point arc, 30-percent. Saint Leo shot 11-of-16 from the charity stripe and snagged 46 rebounds.
  • The Lions got 29 points off the bench and held the largest lead of eight points with 5:55 to play.  

For the Chargers

  • Five Chargers scored in double figures in the 82-80 victory led by Troy Saxton, who hit the game-winner with 26-seconds to play, and finished with 20 points.
  • Seab Webster led the field in rebounds with 12 total where he finished with a double-double on 12 points and 12 rebounds.
  • The Chargers held a 42-28 advantage in the paint Saturday night.

Next Up
Saint Leo faces GSC/SSC Challenge host North Alabama tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 13 at 3:00 p.m. at Flowers Hall in the final game of the classic.

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