LAKELAND, FL - In a game that featured nine ties and 15 lead changes, Florida Southern College men's basketball came out a winner on Senior Night with a 105-100 victory over Sunshine State Conference foe Rollins. The Moccasins (21-7, 14-6 SSC) posted their best field-goal percentage in nearly six years as they earned a split in the season series against the Tars (10-18, 4-16).
Six different Mocs scored in double figures, led by Brett Hanson's team-high 23, and Florida Southern scored 56 points in the second half en route to the win. The Moccasins finished the regular season third in the SSC standings and will play at home in the quarterfinal round of next week's SSC Tournament. The No. 3 seeded Mocs will take on No. 6 Saint Leo at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Jenkins Field House.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got out to a quick 7-2 lead in the opening moments of play, but Rollins responded with an 11-0 run to take a 13-7 lead at the 15:45 mark of the first half. However, the Mocs scored the next seven points of the game to go up by one (14-13) with just under 15 minutes. The teams would trade blows back and forth with neither leading by more than five as the Mocs took a 49-47 lead into the locker room at the half.
- In the second half, the Tars would lead for most of the opening 10 minutes before Florida Southern got on top 70-69 on Hanson's layup with 11:17 left to play. Leading by just two (77-75) with 8:19 on the clock, the Mocs seized all the momentum by reeling off a 10-0 run to take an 87-85 lead on Jonathan Lawton's jumper with just under six minutes to go.
- Slinky Jones and Ben Marello each nailed clutch three-pointers in the final four minutes, with Marello's coming at the 1:34 mark, to put Florida Southern ahead by eight (97-89). The Tars were able to close the gap to four points in the closing minute, but the Mocs hit key free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
- Hanson finished 10-of-16 from the floor while Lawton (20), Jones (17), Marello (15), Jack Rauch (14) and DeAndre Campbell (11) all finished in double figures. The Mocs shot an incredible 63.6 percent (42-of-66) from the floor and wen 9-of-19 from long range.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 121-58 all-time against Rollins, including a 66-22 mark when facing the Tars at home.
- Lawton scored in double figures for the 49th-straight game dating back to last year and increased his FSC scoring total to 1,325 to move within 11 points of 14th in school history in scoring. He has scored a total of 1,888 points in his collegiate career after tallying 563 points in two seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas. He is 17th in career scoring among active NCAA Division II players and is on pace to set the Florida Southern school record for career scoring average with his 22.5 ppg.
- Hanson continued his ascent up the all-time scoring list at Florida Southern by pushing his career total to 1,444. He ranks 10th in school history in scoring. Hanson is on pace to score more than 1,800 points in his career. Only four other Moccasins have ever surpassed 1,800 career points.
- The Mocs' field-goal percentage (63.6) on Saturday night is the team's highest since connecting on 65.5 percent (38-of-58) against Tuskegee on Dec. 22, 2013.
- Florida Southern will take on No. 6 seed Saint Leo on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the quarterfinal round of the SSC Tournament. The winner advances to the semifinals next Saturday and will face either Lynn or Palm Beach Atlantic. The SSC title game is set for 1:05 p.m. on Sunday at NSU's Rick Case Arena. A complete tournament bracket and other information can be found by clicking HERE.