The Saints came into the game with lots of energy and enthusiasm, but ultimately the team could not hold on down the stretch as the Eastern Florida State College Titans rallied to a 77-68 win.
The first half looked strong and was in favor of the Saints as they held the lead for the entire 20 minutes and headed into halftime 37-32, and at one point had a 10 point lead. Noah Thorp and Ivan Smith led the charge and accounted for 19 of the team's 37 first half points.
The Titans steadily continued their offensive effort and slowly chipped away at the Saints' lead, eventually making their move and took the lead with a three-pointer at 8:57 left in the second stanza. Once the Titans saw the score shift in their favor, the Saints just couldn't get back on top.
Saints head coach Chris Morwy said, "It was a tough loss for us; we played really well in first half, executed our game plan and took care of the basketball and had only three turnovers." He continued, "In the second half, Eastern Florida came out and came after us. We reverted back to not taking care of the ball with 13 turnovers that led to fast breaks and dunks at the other end. We can't do that against good teams and expect to win."
The Saints shot the ball well and made seven of eight from the stripe in the second half and 12 of 14 overall. However, good shots were not enough as turnovers got the Titans back in the game. "That's how they pulled away," states Mowry.
Brady Fernandes led the Saints with a great second half performance and led all scorers with 22 points. Contributing scorers include Smith ending with 17 points and Thorp with 13.
The Saints (15-15, 3-9 MFC) play College of Central Florida in the first game of the Mid-Florida Conference tournament in Ocala Monday, February 25 at 8 p.m. A Saints win would advance the team to a matchup against Daytona State College.
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