SF MEN’S BASKETBALL
Jacksonville, FL – The Santa Fe Saints (8-0) overcame an extremely slow start to rally for an 87-84 overtime win against Miami Dade College on Saturday afternoon, improving their record to a perfect 8-0.
The win wasn’t easy as MDC jumped out to an 18-3 lead in the early going and looked like they may run away with it. Coach Chris Mowry calmed the Saints down and after the sluggish start they went on a 27-12 run to knot the game up at 30-30.
Following the rally by the Saints, the Sharks answered with a 10-0 run but again SF answered and closed the gap. MDC maintained a slight lead and took a 42-39 advantage into the locker room.
In the second half Santa Fe managed to go ahead on numerous occasions by five or six points, but never were able to pull away from the Sharks.
With ten seconds remaining Miami Dade knocked in a shot to break a 75-75 tie and go ahead by two. Santa Fe survived a missed shot on their first opportunity to tie the game and a fortunate bounce gave them the ball out of bounds under their basket with three seconds left, down by two.
The inbounds play called for Jonathan Hood to catch the ball at the elbow and either drive or shoot. After a good inbound pass Hood saw a clear shooting lane and nailed an elbow jumper at the buzzer to send the game to an extra frame.
With the momentum on their side, Santa Fe took the lead in overtime and never looked back, finishing off the 87-84 victory.
The Saints won despite not clicking on all cylinders on either side of the ball. Coach Mowry insists, however, that he is concerned with the result above what the game looks like.
“I told our guys after the Hillsborough win earlier this week that ugly is beautiful,” said Mowry. “Tonight was another case of that. It looked ugly at times, but the result was beautiful. I’m proud of how we believed in ourselves even when we were down 15 early on and by two with a few seconds left. This team is gaining confidence every game and they continue to play hard and find ways to win. Miami Dade is an extremely talented team that is tough to defend and this was a great win for our guys.”
The Saints bench played a key role in the win, combining for 55 points. Reggie Hart led the way with 17 points, Morris Marshall had 15, and Josh Huntley scored 15 points to go with 10 rebounds. All three are career highs in points. Starters Jonathan Hood chipped in 14 points and Takija Knight added 11 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks.
“Josh [Huntley] played a tremendous game for us tonight,” said Mowry. “Our entire bench was fantastic and gave us a huge boost.”
The Saints will have a quick turnaround when they travel to Winter Haven on Tuesday, November 26 for a game against Polk State College at 7:00 PM.