Tallahassee uses late rally to defeat Saints, 80-77

The Santa Fe men’s basketball team led by as many as 12 in the final minutes of their game against Tallahassee CC on Tuesday night, but a late run by the Eagles would prove to be the difference in a back and forth contest between the two talented teams.

Santa Fe (4-3) started slow and trailed 23-8 in the early going, but stepped their game up and went on a 19-0 run over the final seven and a half minutes of the first half to take a 35-28 lead into the locker room. LaBrian Shiflet paced the Saints during their comeback, hitting three three pointers.

Tallahassee (6-2) chipped away at the lead at the beginning of the second half, but after the Eagles closed it to a three point margin at the 16 minute mark, the Saints slowly built a double digit margin, getting the lead all the way to 12 at 63-51 with seven minutes to go.

A 15-2 run followed for TCC as they took their first lead since the first half, 66-65. SF answer with a 4-0 run to go back up by three and held on to the lead until just under three minutes when Tallahassee’s Rashad Lewis would come up big for the Eagles, nailing back to back three pointers to give TCC the lead for good.

“This was a tough loss for us,” said SF Coach Chris Mowry. “I thought our guys did a nice job after a really slow start. LaBrian got hot for us offensively and our big guys hit the glass to help get us back in it. We knew even with the lead at half time we were in a battle because Tallahassee is a really good team. We weren’t able to get some stops down the stretch and they hit some big shots.”

Five players scored in double figures for the Saints, including 20 from LaBrian Shiflet, 14 from Alphonso Brown, 11 each from Alex Brown and Joshua Hawkins, and a 12 points, 17 rebound, four steal night from Benjy Dumornay.

“Benjy is going to have a chance to be a very good player for us,” said Mowry. It was nice to see him step up for us in a game where we were missing Leo Edwards who was out sick.”

Santa Fe will continue their home stand on Friday when they welcome Hillsborough CC to the SF Gym for a 6 p.m. game.

For complete schedules, stats, and more information please visit www.santafesaints.com.