Morris Marshall came up the best game of his career on Saturday afternoon against Florida State College-Jacksonville, dropping 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting to lead the Saints (18-7, 2-3 MFC) past the Blue Wave 76-67. The win moves SF into third place in the Mid-Florida Conference, one game behind College of Central Florida for second.
“It’s good to get a win at home against a solid FSC-J team,” said SF Coach Chris Mowry. “They went to Ocala and beat a very good Central Florida team so we knew we were going to get everything they had. Morris did a nice job for us tonight offensively, scoring the ball when we needed baskets.”
Santa Fe outshot the Blue Wave 44% to 37% in the first half, but turned it over nine times, allowing FSC-J to take a 34-33 lead into the locker room. Santa Fe trailed despite out rebounding the Blue Wave by 10 over the first 20 minutes.
In the second period the scoring was back and forth with three lead changes before the Saints took control and grabbed the lead for good at the 13:22 mark on a floater in the paint by Marshall. Over the next six minutes SF outscored the Blue Wave 10-2 to grab their biggest lead of the game to that point 56-47.
One minute later three straight points by Lenny Ruffin cut the lead to 58-53, but that’s as close as FSC-J would get as the Saints pulled away over the final six minutes for the nine point victory. Marshall scored eight points during that stretch to help secure the win.
Two big factors in the Saints win was the ability to limit second chance points and limiting free throw opportunities. The Blue Wave ended up with just four offensive rebounds and were 18-for-27 from the free throw line, but just 6-for-12 in the second half. All from a squad that shoots just under 80% as a team from the charity stripe.
Marshall led all scorers with his 28, Shea Jones chipped in 14 and Jon Hood had 12.
“Shea had a nice all-around game tonight and was able to create some scoring opportunities with his driving ability,” said Mowry. “FSC-J made it a point to take Jon out of the game but he did a nice job staying composed, not forcing it. He waited for his opportunities and had an efficient game.”
The Saints will travel to Ocala for a third shot at the Central Florida Patriots on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. CF has taken the first two games of the three game series by a combined nine points.