November 1, 2013
Contact: Scott Jamison
SF MEN’S BASKETBALL
Gainesville, FL – Santa Fe and Middle Georgia were back and forth for a majority of the game until a late run over the final five minutes sparked an opening night 73-62 win for the Saints (1-0).
SF opened the game the same way they closed it, building a 26-17 lead over the first 14 minutes of the contest. Middle Georgia (0-1) closed the half on a 14-2 run to take a 31-26 advantage into halftime. The Saints went nearly six minutes without a point before two Morris Marshall free throws ended the scoring drought with :17 left in the period.
“We did some good things early on, but the nerves and playing a little bit too fast caught up to use over the last few minutes,” said SF Coach Chris Mowry. “Both teams struggled adjusting to the new points of emphasis by the referees of no contact. We just needed to slow down and let the game come to us, something we did much better in the second half.”
The Knights made their first two shots of the second half before the Santa Fe bounced back and retook the lead at the 14:39 mark on a Josh Huntley layup, a lead they would not relinquish.
“In the second half we came out and knew what we wanted to do defensively,” said Mowry. “They hit their first two shots, but we were confident in the game plan.”
Leading by just four with three minutes to go, Shea Jones stepped up and nailed a three pointer to push the lead to 64-57 and a minute and a half later Marshall hit a jumper in the paint to make it a double digit lead at 68-57.
Middle Georgia was not able to close the gap any closer and the Saints made their free throws down the stretch to secure the 73-62 win.
Saints guard Jonathan Hood led all scorers with 17 points, Chad Milliken had 13 points and five rebounds, Marshall Morris scored 11 points in just 15 minutes and Shea Jones had eight points and eight rebounds. Jordan Banks led the way with 10 rebounds.
“We had some great individual efforts tonight,” said Mowry. “Jordan did a great job defensively and was very active on both ends of the court. Jonathan and Chad were both able to hit some shots and Shea handled the offense and distributed the ball for us. One thing we need to work on is the turnovers. Twenty-five is too many, but I think a lot of that came with us playing too fast in the first half. We will watch tape and try and improve for our next time out against Impact.”
The Saints host Impact Academy on Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 PM.