SAINTS FALL TO CFCC IN MFC TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP, 70-67

For Immediate Release

February 23, 2010 Contact: Scott Jamison 352.395.5616 scott.jamison@sfcollege.edu

SF MEN’S BASKETBALL

SAINTS FALL TO CFCC IN MFC TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP, 70-67

Ocala, FL – The Mid-Florida Conference Tournament Championship lived up to its billing as Santa Fe and Central Florida battled down to the buzzer for the right to represent the MFC as the second seed in the FCCAA State Tournament.

“I’m very proud of our guys effort tonight,” said Coach Chris Mowry.  “I told the team before the game that if they played their hardest, whatever happens from there happens.  CFCC played outstanding, they are a very good team.  They made ten three point shots and that was huge.”

Marlon Rivera had one of his best games as a Saint, scoring 10 points, pulling down ten rebounds and dishing out eight assists in his final game for Santa Fe.

“Marlon does so much for this team,” said Mowry.  “He played almost the whole game for us tonight and really did a fantastic job, I couldn’t have asked anymore of him.”

The Saints fell behind 4-0 early on, but stormed back to take a 20-12 lead on a three point shot by Chris Baez, who was fouled and made the free throw for a four point play.  Branimir Mikulic led the SF attack, scoring nine points in the first seven minutes.

CFCC answered right back with a run of their own, outscoring the Saints 15-3 over the next five minutes to take a 27-23 lead.  The Patriots would add slightly to their lead right before halftime, when they hit a three pointer at the buzzer to take a 38-33 advantage into the locker room.

The Saints came out in the second half and made a statement, tying the game with 13 minutes to go and taking a four point lead with 10:28 to go on a jumper by Altavious Carter.

The score went back and forth for the rest of the game, with 10 lead changes and four ties taking place through the last 15 minutes of the contest.

Santa Fe led 66-65 with one minute to go, but CF guard Justin Cecil hit a three pointer from the corner to give the Patriots the lead for good.  Chuck Ford had a good look at the buzzer, but came up just short in his bid to send the game to overtime.

SF outrebounded the Patriots 44-34, holding them to only five offensive rebounds.  The difference in the game came from the three point line, where CFCC shot 10-for-21 and the Saints were only 6-for-21.  Santa Fe also struggled from the foul line, making only 9-of-19.

“Central Florida did a nice job all game of driving and kicking the ball out and their guys stepped up and hit the shots they needed to,” said Mowry.  “We were great on the boards and to hold them to five offensive rebounds is probably their lowest of the year.  We just didn’t make enough free throws and missed a few too many open looks.”

Chris Baez led Santa Fe in scoring with 14 points, Branimir Mikulic had 12 and LeVon Hodges had nine points and 10 rebounds.

“We didn’t lose this game because we didn’t play hard or give ourselves a chance to win, we did all of those things right,” said Mowry.  “CFCC was just the better team tonight and we wish them luck up in Marianna at the State Tournament.”

The Saints end their 2009-10 season with a 16-12 overall record and a 5-5 record in the MFC. 

For more information and a complete schedule, please visit www.sfcollege.edu/athletics.  Join the Santa Fe College Athletics Facebook Fanpage for game photos, up to date info and more.

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