TAMPA, FL - A 49-point showing in the second half helped propel Florida Southern College men's basketball past Tampa, 88-71, in Sunshine State Conference action on Wednesday night at the Bob Martinez Center. The Moccasins (15-4, 8-3 SSC) and Spartans (9-11, 4-9) were squared up at 39-39 after the first 20 minutes of action but the Mocs stepped up on both ends of the floor in the second half, outscoring Tampa 49-32 in the second half en route to their second-straight win.
Jonathan Lawton led Florida Southern with 19 points, while freshman E.J. Dambreville scored 14 off the bench and Jack Rauch (12) and Brett Hanson (11) also scored in double figures. The Moccasins held the Spartans to just 28.1 percent in the second half while hitting 51.3 percent (20-of-39) from the floor over the final 20 minutes. The Mocs forced Tampa into 19 turnovers and outscored UT 28-7 in points off turnovers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a slow start as it fell behind 9-3 in the first two minutes of action and looked out of sorts as it found itself down 15-7 with 15:52 to go in the half. But the Mocs ripped off an 8-0 run that began with Dambreville's layup at the 14:42 mark and ended Rauch's bucket a minute and a half later to even things at 15-15. Southern would snag its first lead of the game when Lawton drilled a three-pointer with 13:12 on the clock to make it 18-17.
- The teams would go back and forth the rest of the half and, even though the Moccasins went up 37-32 with 1:55 to go in the half, the teams found themselves tied (39-39) at the break. Lawton (11) and Rauch (10) tallied double-digits in the first half.
- Slinky Jones broke the tie with a pair of free throws at the 18:36 mark to make it 41-39, but Freddy Ibrahim tied things up for Tampa on the next possession. It would be the final tie of the game as Dambreville hit two at the charity stripe with 17:55 to go to put the Mocs up for good. Lawton's three-pointer with 13:46 to go gave the Moccasins their first double-digit lead (57-47) of the game, and Florida Southern led by as many as 23 twice in the final four minutes.
- Lawton hit five three-pointers, dished out three assists, and grabbed four rebounds while Dambreville went 5-of-9 from the floor and snagged five rebounds. Hanson led Florida Southern with six rebounds and also added in three assists and a pair of steals.
- The Moccasins shot 48.1 percent (37-of-77) from the floor while Tampa connected on 41.8 (23-of-55). The Spartans outrebounded the Mocs 41-38, but Southern finished with a 46-34 edge on points in the paint and the Moccasin bench outscored UT's reserves 31-12.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 94-54 all-time against Tampa, including a 35-28 record when facing the Spartans on the road.
- Hanson continued his ascent up the all-time scoring list at Florida Southern by pushing his career total to 1,270. He ranks 17th in school history in scoring. Hanson needs just 147 more points to move into the top 10 and is on pace to score more than 1,800 points in his career. Only four other Moccasins have ever surpassed 1,800 career points.
- Lawton increased his FSC scoring total to 1,098 to move into 26th-place in school history in scoring. He has scored a total of 1661 points in his collegiate career after tallying 563 points in two seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas. He is 18th in career scoring among active NCAA Division II players.
- Florida Southern will take on No. 5 Nova Southeastern at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jenkins Field House. One lucky Florida Southern College student will get the chance to make a halfcourt shot for $10,000.