January 16, 2010 Contact: Scott Jamison 352.395.5616



Gainesville, FL – Chris Baez scored a career high 31 points on Saturday afternoon as the Santa Fe Saints (12-7, 1-0 MFC) opened their Mid-Florida Conference season with a win over rival St. John’s River Community College, 86-70.  Baez was 7-for-11 from the three point line and 12-of-17 from the field overall.

“I thought our guys did a super job playing in our first conference game,” said Coach Chris Mowry.  “It was important to get off to a good start.  St. John’s is having a really good year, they are very athletic and we were concerned about their ability to get easy baskets.  We also had to be able to handle their full court pressure.  I felt like we did pretty well in all of those aspects.”

The first half saw eight lead changes before SF began to control the pace with eight minutes to go.  Baez made a three point shot to break a 22-22 tie and the Saints went on a 17-0 run to go up 39-22.

Baez closed the half with his fourth three pointer to give the Saints a 46-30 lead at the break.

“Our defense did a nice job at the end of the half,” said Mowry.  “We held them to only 11 points over the last ten minutes of the half and that allowed us to really stretch out our lead.”

Santa Fe opened the second half the same way they closed the first, building a 63-40 lead with 14 minutes to play after back to back three point shots by Baez and Branimir Mikulic.

With four minutes to play, Chuck Ford gave SF their largest lead of the game when he sank two free throws to put the Saints up 82-56.  SJRCC closed the game on an 11-2 run over the last minute for the final margin of 86-70.

Baez led all scorers with 31 points, Altavious Carter scored 12, Chuck Ford had 11, Igor Premasunac had 10 points and eight rebounds and Iran Hollis had eight points and nine rebounds.  Marlon Rivera led SF in assists with 12.  As a team, the Saints had 21 assists on 29 made baskets.

“Offensively we accomplished what we wanted to,” Mowry said.  “We set good screens, passed the ball well and knocked down shots.  Chris [Baez] really shot the ball well and helped us out a lot.  Igor [Premasunac] did a very good job scoring for us inside and Marlon distributed the ball to the guys that were making shots.  Altavious gave us a great effort off of the bench.”

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