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Runako Ziegler scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in second half to lead Florida Tech to 80-72 win over Saint Leo

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Florida Tech 80, Saint Leo 72
Records: Florida Tech (2-1, 1-0 SSC) | Saint Leo (2-2, 0-1 SSC)
Location: Clemente Center | Melbourne, Fla.

FIRST HALF: 

  • Lions got out to a quick 5-2 lead, but Sesan Russell knocked down a three off an assist from Sean Houpt and then scored a fastbreak layup following a steal by Mekhii Noble to give Tech a 7-5 advantage with 15:44 to go. 
  • SLU answered with an 11-6 run to grab a 16-11 edge with 11:37 left in the half. 
  • Panther tied the game at 16-16 on a Josh Mims three from the corner, his first points as a Panther, with 9:51 remaining.
  • Lions answered with a three of their own to take a 19-16 lead.
  • After swapping buckets the next few possessions the Lions mounted an 8-2 run to build their advantage to 30-22 with 3:13 to go. 
  • Tech outscored SLU 8-5 the rest of the half and went into halftime trailing 35-30. 

SECOND HALF: 

  • Lions controlled the early parts of the second half, opening with a 14-5 run to grab a 49-35 advantage with 15:01 to go. 
  • Panthers continued to trail by double-figures, 66-56 with 8:44 remaining before mounting their late game run. 
  • Runako Ziegler stole the ball away and scored a jumper to cut the deficit to 66-59, two of his 17 second half points. 
  • Mims then hit his second three of the game from the corner to make it a four-point game, 66-62, with 6:39 left. 
  • A jumper by Jared Coomer gave the Lions a 72-66 lead with 4:09 but that would be the final points for Saint Leo in the game as the Panthers closed the contest with a 14-0 run. 
  • A fastbreak three from Jacob Crockett pushed Tech ahead 73-72, the Panthers’ first lead since the 13:27 mark of the first half. 
  • Tech then iced the game from the charity stripe, making seven free throws during the final minute of regulation as the Panthers earned the win in their SSC opener.  

NOTABLE PANTHERS:

  • Runako Ziegler led the Crimson & Gray with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals on 7-14 shooting and 7-8 at the charity stripe.
  • Mekhii Noble posted his third double-double of the season on 13 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal and 1 assist on 6-9 shooting
  • Sesan Russell finished with 9 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 1 steal on 3-9 shooting and 2-2 on free throws.
  • Sean Houpt tallied 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists on 3-6 shooting
  • Mate Papai racked up 7 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal and 1 assist on 2-4 shooting
  • Josh Mims ended with 6 points and 2 rebounds on 2-3 from beyond the arc. 
    INSIDE THE BOXSCORE:
  • Panthers shot 35.48% (11-31) in the first half including 13.33% (2-15) from three while making 60% (6-10) on free throws. Lions closed the first half at 46.47% (14-30) shooting and made 33.33% (5-15) from three and 2-4 at the charity stripe.
  • Tech improved its shooting in the second half, making 54.84% (17-31) from the field including 50% (5-10) from three and 61.11% (11-18) at the free throw line. 
  • The Panthers played better defensively as well, holding the Lions to 38.64% (17-44) shooting, 14.29% (2-14) beyond the arc and just 1-1 at the line.
  • Both teams ended the game with 12 turnovers while Tech finished with a 44-36 advantage in rebounding including a 12-9 edge on the offensive glass, which led to 16 second chance points for the Panthers.
  • Lions had a slight advantage in points in the paint (34-32) but the Panthers outscored SLU in fastbreak points (18-10), points off turnovers (8-6) and bench points (21-16).

UP NEXT: Florida Tech is back in action next Tueday, Nov. 23, hosting Puerto Rico-Bayamon at the Clemente Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. 

For the latest news, updates and information on the Florida Tech men’s basketball team, visit FloridaTechSports.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Panthers news by following Florida Tech Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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