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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.