A last second shot by Noah Thorp from in front of his own bench carried long and the Saints came up short in their Mid-Florida Conference opener against the College of Central Florida Saturday evening in Gainesville losing 84-83.
"It was a well-played, hard fought game and is a tough loss," said SF head coach Chris Mowry. "I thought we did a lot of good things, but you have to credit them for being more aggressive in the second half and playing really tough defense on that last play."
The game featured 11 ties and 16 lead changes with the Saints holding the largest lead of the night at 45-37 off a 3-pointer by Josiah Tynes with 18 minutes to play.
The Patriots (16-3, 1-0 MFC) equaled their largest lead of the night when Wayln Napper scored from in close to give CF an 80-76 lead with 2:24 to play. Ryan Leonard responded for the Saints with a basket from inside followed by a 3-pointer with 1:27 to go to give the Saints their last lead at 83-82.
Eduardo Del Cadia of CF scored two of his game-high 25 points with 1:10 to play to close out the scoring.
"Noah (Thorp) and Luka (Filipovic) has great first halves and Ryan (Leonard) and Yaw (Obeng-Mensah) were solid," said Mowry. "As a team we just have to take better care of the basketball."
The Saints committed 18 turnovers in the game leading to 15 CF points.
The Saints had five players score in double figures led by Leonard with 18, Thorp with 14 Obeng-Mensah 12, Tynes 11 and Filipovic with 10.
SF (7-9, 0-1 MFC) will travel to Daytona on Wednesday to take on Daytona State College.
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