January 18, 2014
SF MEN’S BASKETBALL
Gainesville, FL – The State College of Florida Manatees came into their game against the Santa Fe Saints with a 2-19 record, but played like a team on a mission, knocking down 10-of-17 three pointers in route to an 81-78 victory over SF (15-4). Just seven days ago Santa Fe went to Bradenton and defeated the Manatees 93-66.
“This was a disappointing effort for us here today,” said SF Coach Chris Mowry. “We played poorly on defense and they knocked down their shots. They got off to a hot start and built a lot of confidence as the game went on.”
SCF (3-19) led by as many as eight in the first half and ended the half ahead by five, 37-32. The Saints struggled to prevent open looks and gave up five threes over the first 20 minutes.
The Manatees came out of the gates hot in the second period scoring the first six points to take their largest lead of the game 45-32. The game was back and forth the rest of the way and every time SF cut the lead to four or five, SCF answered.
State College of Florida had a 77-67 with 2:30 remaining when Santa Fe’s Shea Jones took over, scoring nine straight points to pull SF within one with 39 seconds to play. After 20 seconds of playing solid defense the Saints forced a turnover. Jon Hood had an open look at a three to put SF up two but was just long on the attempt, but Takija Knight corralled the rebound to set up an out of bounds play with 7.7 seconds left with a chance to take the lead.
Tre Ford found an open Morris Marshall under the hoop but his hook shot attempt went just long and the Manatees gathered the rebound and were fouled with four seconds left.
Ryan Hintze made both free to put SCF up three and Reggie Hart came up just short on a clean three point look at the buzzer.
The Saints struggled from the free throw line, making just 16-of-26 and were doubly as bad from behind the arc, connecting on just 4-of-18 attempts.
“We have to shoot free throws better if we want to win games,” said Mowry. “We also took too many outside shots. We were very efficient from in the paint but kept shooting threes. Other than that our offense wasn’t terrible. We should win when we score 78. I told our guys after the game that our four losses have come when we gave up 81, 81, 80 and 79.”
Morris Marshall led SF with 20 points, Shea Jones had 12 and Andre Horne, Reggie Hart and Jon Hood had 10 each.
The Saints will now open up Mid-Florida Conference play on January 22 against Florida State College-Jacksonville on the road at 8:00 PM.