LAKELAND, FL - After both teams rallied back from double-digit deficits to force multiple overtimes, Florida Southern College men's basketball came up just short in a 117-111, double-overtime loss to Sunshine State Conference rival Rollins on Saturday at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (9-8, 3-6 SSC) hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 30 seconds to send the game to overtime, but the Tars (11-7, 7-3) were able to outlast Florida Southern to snag their third-straight win.
With just 30 seconds to go in regulation, Brett Hanson and Slinky Jones connected from long range to erase a late six-point deficit. After both teams scored seven points in the first overtime, Rollins was able to outscore the Mocs 13-7 in the second overtime thanks in part to 12 trips to the free-throw line. Five Moccasins scored in double figures, including a trio of 20-point scorers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Rollins jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first minute and a half of the opening period, but the Mocs were able to rally back to tie things at 13-13 when Ben Marello hit a jumper with 14:09 on the clock. Marello scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half to help Florida Southern build a 14-point lead (36-22) with 8:15 to go in the first half.
• Despite trailing by double-digits, the Tars did not go away and were able to draw even (43-43) with just under a minute to go in the first, but Josh Brown hit a three-pointer and Hanson hit a layup at the buzzer to give the Moccasins a 48-43 halftime lead.
• Florida Southern stayed in front until two and a half minutes into the second half, when Sam Philpott tied things up at 53-53 on a layup with 17:31 to go in the game. The Mocs did not fall behind until four minutes later when Philpott drained a three-pointer to give the Tars a 65-63 lead, their first since the 12:51 mark of the first half. Clinging to a one-point lead (72-71) with 8:02 on the lock, the Tars reeled off a 15-5 run to take an 87-76 lead with just 3:41 on the clock.
• The Mocs battled back, scoring 12 of the next 20 points to put themselves in position to make a move in the closing moments. Down 97-91 with less than a minute to go, Hanson nailed a three-pointer to make it 97-94. After Hanson missed a potential game-tying three with 21 seconds to go, Jack Rauch would collect the offensive rebound and kick the ball to a wide open Jones, who drained the game-tying three-pointer with 17 seconds to go and send the game to overtime.
• Neither team was able to gain much separation in the first overtime, but Florida Southern did have the upper hand late in the first extra period. Leading by two (104-102) in the closing seconds, the Mocs would be whistled for a foul that gave Rollins the free-throws needed to send things to another overtime.
• In the final period of play, the Tars were able to outscore the Mocs 13-7 thanks in large part to 12 free-throw attempts in the second overtime and sealed the win at the charity stripe with six free throws in the final minute of play.
• Hanson led the Moccasins with 26 points on a 10-of-16 effort from the floor. He also finished with six rebounds and five assists. Jonathan Lawton added 24 points and connected on five three-pointers, while Marello poured in 22 while snagging five rebounds and dishing out five assists. Rauch fell just shy of his second career triple-double with seven points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Jones scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards, while Trey Diggs added 17 off the bench.
• The Mocs shot 48.9 percent (44-of-91) from the floor and made 18 three-pointers. Rollins connected on 53.1 percent (34-of-64) of its field-goal attempts, and went to the free-throw line a whopping 47 times, connecting on 87.2 percent from the charity stripe. The Tars finished with a 45-40 edge in rebounds, and the Moccasins finished with a 5-3 edge in blocks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern fell to 119-57 all-time against Rollins, including a 65-23 mark when facing the Tars at home. The 47 free throws by Rollins were the most by an FSC opponent since at least the 2008-09 season, while the Moccasins' 18 three-pointers were the most since Dec. 20, 2015, vs. Miles (23).
• Lawton increased his career point total to 903 and needs just 97 more to hit 1,000 for his career. Lawton has 340 points for the Moccasins this season and scored 563 into seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas before transferring to Florida Southern.
• The Mocs finished Saturday's game with 26 assists while Rollins recorded just nine. Florida Southern finished with a 12-5 advantage in fast break points and a 20-19 edge in second-chance points. Rollins won the battle inside with a 48-42 advantage in points in the paint and outscored the Moccasins 28-25 off turnovers.
• Florida Southern heads to Tampa on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. matchup with the Spartans. The Moccasins return home next Saturday, Jan. 20, to face Nova Southeastern at 7:30 p.m. in a game that was originally scheduled for Dec. 3. The season series swapped locations to accommodate the NCAA South Region volleyball tournament, as the Mocs made the trip to NSU back in December.