LAKELAND, FL - Four different players scored in double figures as Florida Southern College men's basketball picked up its sixth-straight win, 89-85, over visiting Palm Beach Atlantic in Sunshine State Conference action on Wednesday at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 19 Moccasins (19-4, 12-3 SSC) had four players score in double figures and put up 57 points in the second half to finish off the season sweep of the Sailfish (10-13, 6-9).
Jonathan Lawton led the Mocs with 23 points while Brett Hanson (19), Slinky Jones (19), and Jack Rauch (10) also scored in double figures. Florida Southern dished out 21 assists for the second time in three games and scored 17 fastbreak points in the win. The Moccasins have won 10 of their last 11 games and are now 14-1 at home this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Things got off to a slow start for Southern as PBA jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening two minutes of play, but a 9-0 run by the Mocs erased the deficit when E.J. Dambreville hit a free throw at the 14:33 mark of the first half. The teams would trade jabs over the next few minutes before the Mocs jumped in front by seven (21-14) on Lawton's three with 8:54 to go in the opening period.
- Palm Beach Atlantic reeled off an 11-3 run to snag a 25-24 lead on Malek Barber's three-pointer at the 4:49 mark of the half. The teams went back-and-forth over the final minutes of the opening period with the Moccasins taking a 32-29 lead into the locker room at the half.
- Florida Southern was able to push its lead to eight points on several occasions early in the second half but the Sailfish hung tough and remained within striking distance until the Mocs used an 8-0 run midway through the half to turn a 53-49 advantage into a 61-49 lead, their first double-digit lead of the game. Palm Beach Atlantic responded with a 9-0 run of its own to pull within three (61-58) at the 8:18 mark.
- Although the Sailfish stayed in the race, the Mocs were able to put some distance between themselves and PBA late in the half when Jones drilled a three with 5:31 on the clock to make it 77-66. However, Palm Beach Atlantic would mount a 13-4 run over the next three and a half minutes and trailed by just two (81-79) with 2:16 to go. But Florida Southern never lost the lead and hit six free throws in the closing minute to seal the win.
- Lawton finished 7-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from three, and dished out four assists. Rauch led the Mocs with eight rebounds while Hanson had seven, and both players tallied six assists. Jones finished with six rebounds, while Ben Marello had nine points. PBA was led by Bakari Warthen's 19 points.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 29-5 all-time against Palm Beach Atlantic, including a perfect 17-0 record at home. The Moccasins have won 11-straight home games dating back to November.
- Hanson continued his ascent up the all-time scoring list at Florida Southern by pushing his career total to 1,349. He ranks 17th in school history in scoring. Hanson needs just 68 more points to move into the top 10 and is on pace to score more than 1,800 points in his career. Only four other Moccasins have ever surpassed 1,800 career points.
- Lawton increased his FSC scoring total to 1,202 to move into 17th in school history in scoring. He has scored a total of 1,765 points in his collegiate career after tallying 563 points in two seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas. He is 17th in career scoring among active NCAA Division II players and is on pace to set the Florida Southern school record for career scoring average with his 22.3 ppg.
- Florida Southern will face Lynn (Feb. 16) and Eckerd (Feb. 20) on the road before returning home to face Barry on Feb. 23. The Mocs close out the regular season with a trip to Saint Leo (Feb. 27) and a home game against Rollins (March 2).