The Titans of St. Petersburg College held the lead for most of the game, but it never reached double figures until the final four minutes of their 87-76 win over the Saints at the SF gym Sunday afternoon.
Ricardo Clouden scored 10 of his team-high 19 points in the first half, but it wasn't enough as Titan sophomore, wing Daniel Melvin hit for 17 of his game-high 27 over the same time span to give St. Pete a 45-37 lead at the break. "I thought we played awfully well offensively both halves," said SF Head Coach Chris Mowry. "We were unselfish with the basketball and were able to knock down some shots. But St. Pete played very hard and we had trouble defending Melvin." The Saints (9-5) battled back in the second half and a free throw by Clouden tied the score at 56-56 with 13:11 to play. A little more than two minutes later, a put-back by Isaiah Islam gave the Saints their biggest lead of the game at 63-60.
"We really fought hard for most of the game," said Mowry. "But down the stretch we put ourselves in a position where we had to foul them and they stepped up and made their free throws." SPC (6-5) outscored the Saints 20-8 from the charity stripe including six by Anfernee Munnings in the final two minutes and the Titan bench outscored the Saints bench 29-11.
The Saints are off until next Saturday when they will travel to Winter Haven to take on Polk State College. The Saints next home game will be New Year's Eve when they host St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a college located in Quebec Canada for a 2:00 pm tip off.
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