MANCHESTER, NH - Jack Rauch scored a team-high 18 points to lead five players in double figures as Florida Southern College men's basketball knocked off Southern New Hampshire, 80-74, to pick up its first road win of the season on Saturday at Stan Spirou Field House. The No. 22 Moccasins (3-0) got off to a slow start offensively and trailed the Penmen (3-1) by four at the half, but poured in 51 second-half points en route to the win.
Brett Hanson (16), Jonathan Lawton (16), Ben Marello (14), and Slinky Jones (13) all scored at least 10 points as the Mocs shot 50.0 percent in the second half, including 45.5 percent from three-point range, to pick up their third-straight win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a fast start as Marello scored eight points in the first three minutes to put the Moccasins up 8-0 with 17:18 on the clock in the first half. SNHU was held without any points until the 17:01 mark, but the Mocs would score four in a row after that to take a 12-3 lead less than four minutes into the contest. However, the Penmen clawed their way back over the next seven-plus minutes to tie things at 15-15 with 9:08 to go in the opening period.
- Southern New Hampshire grabbed its first lead of the contest (19-17) with a little over seven minutes on the clock and, after FSC took a brief 25-24 lead just four minutes later, drilled a three-pointer to go back up by two (27-25) en route to a 33-29 halftime lead. The Penmen limited the Moccasins to just 28.2 percent (11-of-39) in the first half while connecting on 40.0 percent (14-of-35) of their own shots.
- The second half went much better offensively for Florida Southern, which began the final period on a 15-6 run to jump back up by five (44-39) on Lawton's three-pointer with 15:53 to play. The Mocs pushed their lead to 13 points (58-45) with just over 10 minutes left and stayed in control until the final minutes when Southern New Hampshire closed the gap to six points (77-71) with under a minute to play, but the Mocs hit three free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
- Rauch's 18 points came on the strength of a 7-of-11 night from the floor, including 3-of-5 from long range. He also added nine rebounds and tallied a block. Jones posted a double-double by adding 14 rebounds to his stat line and tallied three blocks. Hanson pulled down seven board, while Lawton had six and dished out five assists. The Moccasins finished with a 51-41 advantage in rebounds and converted 17 SNHU turnovers into 17 points on the offensive end.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern moved to 3-0 all-time against Southern New Hampshire. Saturday's meeting was the first time the teams have met in Manchester. The game also marked a homecoming for Hanson, who is from Manchester and played at Manchester Central High School before transferring to Tilton School.
- Moccasin head coach Mike Donnelly won his 240th career game. He is 240-200 in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach, with 45 of those wins coming at Florida Southern. The win on Saturday put the Mocs at 3-0 for the first time since 2014-15, when Florida Southern won the NCAA Division II National Championship.
- Hanson moved a step closer to becoming the 42nd player in school history with 1,000 career points. His 16 points on Saturday give him 991 for his career. Lawton is also nearing the 1,000-point mark. He has scored 769 in 35 games for the Moccasins and is poised to become the 43rd player in school history with 1,000 points in an FSC uniform.
- Four of Florida Southern's five double-digit scorers had 10 or more points in the second half. Marello, who had eight in the first half, was the only starter who did not score at least 10 in the second half.
- Florida Southern will host the Terrace Hotel Thanksgiving Classic next weekend. The Moccasins will face Merrimack (Nov. 23) and Stone Hill (Nov. 24) before opening Sunshine State Conference action on Nov. 28 against Tampa. The Terrace Hotel Thanksgiving Classic will also feature Saint Leo, which will face Stone Hill on Friday and Merrimack on Saturday.