SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's basketball opened up the new year and picked up Sunshine State Conference win number two after Tyreece Brice stole the Nova Southeastern's final hope at tying or winning the game with 4.1-seconds left on the clock. Brice swiped the inbounds pass and allowed the Lions to hold onto a 62-61 win inside the Marion Bowman Activities Center on Wednesday night to improve to 7-7, 2-3 SSC.
"I am very happy for our guys and our program with the win tonight," Head Coach Vince Alexander stated in the office following the one-point victory. "It's like I told the team the other day, I don't care if you win by one point or 20 points, you win the game. We were in the same scenario on Friday (against Palm Beach Atlantic) and lost that game and this time we came through. It's tough to play against a zone for 40 minutes especially when we don't shoot the ball as well as we did last year, but we are getting better, working harder and getting smarter and I am just very happy for our guys and our program."
A Marcus Dewberry jumper with 12-ticks on the clock pushed the Lions to a 62-61 advantage before they would hold off the Shark attack. Tyreece Brice lined up in the top of the zone and hit the gap between the two Nova Southeastern players and stole the ball. Brice would rush down the court and hold onto the ball running out the clock for the win.
Marcus Dewberry and Justin Satchell combined for 38 of the Lions 62 points. Dewberry finished the contest with game-high 23 points where Satchell finished with 15. Satchell continued to snag his rebounding average of seven boards, while also adding one steal and one assist to his line. Dewberry finished the night with three rebounds and three assists on the night.
The Lions' 62 points are the lowest point total since the 2015 Sunshine State Conference Quarterfinal matchup with No. 9 Barry when Saint Leo lost 71-57. Saint Leo's last time in the low-60's was on November 29, 2015, when they lost to Clayton State 76-63 at home.
The Basics Final Score: Saint Leo 62 | Nova Southeastern 61 Location: Bowman Center | Saint Leo, Fla. Records: Saint Leo 7-7, 2-3 SSC | Nova Southeastern 4-9, 1-5 SSC
How It Happened…
1H | The first half between the Lions and Sharks was slow, low scoring and low shooting percentages. Saint Leo would start off the night jumping out to a quick five-point lead, 7-2, to force a Nova Southeastern timeout. The two teams traded three-pointers to the 13:29 mark with Saint Leo still holding onto a five-point lead. A 5-0 run by the Sharks tied the game at 10's before they gained a six-point lead with 5:50 to play, 19-13. The Lions would answer with a 9-3 run of their own to tie the game at 21-21 with 2:43 to play capped off by Marcus Dewberry. Dewberry, Drago Popovic, and Necdet Gurkan would go 8-8 combined from the free throw line down the stretch of the first half to keep the Lions close with the Sharks, where the two teams flip-flopped score for the last 2:43. The difference maker in the final minutes was a Dewberry jumper with 1:00 to play where Nova Southeastern answered the Lions' points with two layups, by BJ Edwards and Troy Spears, and a three-pointer by Dwayne Gibson. The Lions carried a three-point lead into the break as Gurkan was responsible for the final two points of the half. The first half featured five ties and four lead changes where both teams finished with a low point total. Saint Leo finished with 31 points on 32-percent shooting led by Satchell who had 12 points, with four three-pointers. Dewberry added 11 points to the Lions count with one jumper, a three-pointer and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. | Saint Leo 31-28 |
2H | The rehydration break paid off for the Lions as they caught the Sharks on their back fin and went out to an eight-point lead in the first two minutes, 36-28. Nova Southeastern cut that gap when they answered with a 7-0 run to erase the deficit, 36-35, before Edwards fired off a three-pointer to take the two point lead, 38-36, with 15 minutes to play. Over the next 14:34 both teams would gain and lose the lead where the largest lead of the 14-minute window would be four points, held by the Lions at 5:13 to play, 55-51, and against at 2:57, 60-56. The Sharks were pesky and kept fighting back and took the lead on two Edwards free throws, 61-60, leaving 27-seconds on the clock. With time winding down, Saint Leo worked the shot clock to leave as little time on the clock as possible. Dewberry squeezed through the defense and took a jumper to put Saint Leo up 62-61 with 12-seconds remaining. Saint Leo had fouls to give and two quick fouls, by Brice and Necdet Gurkan with five-and-six seconds remaining, saw the Sharks hold possession with four seconds to go with the ball in front of their bench. Both teams got to set up a perfect play after timeouts were burned which led to the Sharks' Dwayne Gibson throwing the ball in where Brice hit the gap at the perfect time to steal the ball away and seal the victory for the Lions, holding onto the ball as the time ran off instead of scoring an easy layup. Dewberry added 12 points in the second half to lead all scorers as Tobias hauled in a second half high five rebounds. | Saint Leo 62-61 |
Points to Note
The Lions improve to 7-7, 2-3 SSC after the narrow victory.
Saint Leo saw two players score in double-figures in Marcus Dewberry and Justin Satchell. Dewberry scored game-high 23 points where Satchell finished with 15 points, all three-pointers.
Saint Leo outrebounded Nova Southeastern 40-24 and scored six more, 15-9, second chance points.
As a team, the Lions shot 40.4-percent (21-52) from the field including 34.6-percent (9-26) from three-point range. Saint Leo finished the night just shy of perfection from the line with a 11-for-12 night for 91.7-percent.
For Nova Southeastern
The Sharks fall to 4-9, 1-5 SSC after the 62-61 loss on the road.
Nova Southeastern was led by BJ Edwards who scored team-high 14 points, followed by Harrison Goodrick and Dwayne Gibson who each tallied 11 points.
The Sharks out-worked the Lions in the paint scoring 32 points to the Green and Golds 22. NSU scored 15 points off of 19 Saint Leo turnovers.
As a team, Nova Southeastern shot 45.1-percent (23-51) including 41.2-percent (7-17) from three-point range. The Sharks added a 53.3-percent from the free throw line (8-15).
The Lions will head to Tampa to take on the Spartans on January 7 for a 4:00 p.m. tip-off.
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