March 9, 2012 Contact: Scott Jamison 352.395.5616 firstname.lastname@example.org
SF MEN’S BASKETBALL
SHORTHANDED SAINTS FALL TO NORTHWEST FLORIDA 93-70 IN FCSAA STATE FINAL FOUR
Marianna, FL – The Santa Fe Saints played tough against the #1 team in the state and led 44-43 at the half but a much deeper Northwest Florida State squad rallied in the second half for a 93-70 victory.
“I’m proud of how hard our guys played today,” said SF coach Chris Mowry. “Northwest Florida is a very tough team with a lot of depth. They showed in the second half why they are the number one team in the state.”
Matt Conway led the Saints in the first period, nailing five three pointers to guide SF to a 44-43 lead at the break.
The second half was back and forth over the first few minutes before a crucial and questionable flagrant foul call against Santa Fe gave NWF two free throws, the ball and a 56-51 advantage.
Junior McLeod tried to keep SF in it, scoring four straight points to cut the lead back to one at 56-55. An 8-0 NWF run, punctuated by two Trency Jackson three pointers, put the Raiders ahead 64-55.
Santa Fe, with just seven healthy players, started to show signs of fatigue over the final eight minutes. A deep Northwest team took advantage and propelled their lead out to 81-63 thanks to a 15-4 run led by sophomore Ron Rucker’s inside play.
The Raiders were just too much down the stretch as they pulled away for the 93-70 victory.
Matt Conway finished with 21 points on 6-of-10 three point shooting. MFC Player of the Year Kevin Harden had 17 points and eight rebounds, Paul Stone scored 10, Marko Djekovic had seven points and six assists and Junior McLeod had nine points and eight rebounds.
Santa Fe finishes their season 26-5, co-champions of the Mid-Florida Conference and a #10 national ranking.
“Our players should be very proud of the way they played this season,” said Mowry. “We dealt with a lot of adversity and they kept playing through it all the way to a co-conference championship and a final four berth.”