FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - The nation's top-scoring offense proved to be too much to overcome as Florida Southern College men's basketball saw its five-game win streak come to an end in a 117-95 loss at Nova Southeastern on Saturday at Rick Case Arena. The No. 7 Moccasins (9-2, 2-1 SSC) dropped their first Sunshine State Conference contest of the season as the No. 5 Sharks (10-0, 4-0) put up 71 first-half points en route to their 10th-straight victory.
The Mocs scored the first bucket of the game, but it was all Nova from there as the Sharks raced out to a 12-point lead (19-7) just four minutes into action and never trailed from there as they handed Florida Southern its first road loss of the year. Jonathan Lawton led the Moccasins with 31 points, but NSU had two players eclipse the 30-point mark as the Sharks hit 100 points for the eighth time this year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a quick start as Slinky Jones came away with a steal on NSU's opening possession and scored on a layup on the fastbreak, but the lead was short-lived as Nova Southeastern scored six-straight points as part of an early 9-2 run that put the Sharks up 9-4 with 17:33 to go in the half. Lawton drilled a three on FSC's ensuing possession to make it 9-7, but NSU reeled off a 10-0 run to take all the momentum and grab a 19-7 lead at the 15:54 mark of the first half.
- The Moccasins were able to battle back to pull within six (23-17) when Tyler Smith hit a pair of free throws with 13:13 on the clock, but it would be all the closer that Southern would get as NSU opened up a 20-point lead (64-44) in the final three minutes of the opening period en route to a 71-46 halftime lead.
- Despite outscoring the Sharks 49-46 over the final 20 minutes, the Mocs could not overcome the strong first have by Nova Southeastern as they fell in conference play for the first time this season. Lawton went 7-of-14 from the floor and 14-of-15 at the charity stripe, while Brett Hanson tallied a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Jones added 19 points, seven boards, and two blocks. While the Mocs shot a solid 48.5 percent (33-of-68) from the floor, the Sharks answered with a blistering 57.0 percent (45-of-79) from the floor and made 9-of-20 three-point attempts. Connor Zinaich led NSU with 39 points, while David Dennis had 31.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 27-6 all-time against, including a 10-6 mark when facing the Sharks on the road.
- Hanson pushed his career scoring total to 1,136 points. He now ranks 23rd in school history in career scoring. Just 281 points separate Hanson from the top 10 scorers in school history. He needs eight more to tie Bill Drost for 22nd in the FSC record books.
- Lawton is also closing in on 1,000 points in a Florida Southern uniform. Lawton, who has scored 936 points since transferring to FSC last season, is poised to become the 43rd player in school history with 1,000 points. He has tallied 1,468 points in his career after scoring 563 in two seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas.
- Florida Southern will head to Florida Tech on Jan. 2 before returning home to face Lynn on Jan. 5.