Florida Southern Wins SSC Men's Basketball Tournament Title - Mar 6, 2012
Two clutch three pointers, one by Seth Evans and one by Kevin Capers, in the final 1:37 helped the fifth-seeded Moccasins knock off third-seeded Saint Leo, 61-58, and win their 20th Sunshine Straight Conference Tournament Championship Sunday in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Jenkins Field House. The win, the Moccasins' sixth straight, gives them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament next weekend. The NCAA Division II selection show is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. tonight (Sun.) at www.ncaa.com, where the Moccasins will find out who, when and where they will play. Leading by eight, 48-40, with 8:50 remaining, the Moccasins seemed to be in control, but Saint Leo, with Marcus Ruh and Tom Neary each scoring seven points, went on a 14-2 run to take a 54-50 lead with 4:54 to go. Capers hit a pair of free throws with 2:51 left to cut the lead to 54-52. A Saint Leo basket and two more Capers free throws still had the margin at two, but after a Saint Leo turnover at the 1:41 mark, Evans drilled a long three-pointer to put the Moccasins back in front, 57-56. After Ruh put the Lions (18-11) back on top with a basket at the 1:03 mark, Capers answered with his three-pointer 14 seconds later to give the lead back to the Moccasins, 60-58. On the Lions' next possession, Ruh, who led all scorers with 26 points, 24 in the second half, couldn't connect on a three-point attempt and then fouled Evans with 26 seconds left. Evans made the first one, but had a rare miss on the second one to give the Lions one more chance, but Ruh's three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark and the Moccasins and their fans could celebrate. Evans, who led the Moccasins with 16 points, was named the tournament's most outstanding player and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Brett Bailey, Saint Leo's Ruh, Trent Thomas and Shaun Adams and Florida Tech's Anthony Jackson. Capers delivered a 15-point effort off the bench for the Moccasins. Adams had played a key role for the Lions with 14 points. The win gives the Moccasins their fifth straight 20-win season. The SSC Tournament title is the Moccasins' first since 2009 and third under coach Linc Darner. The Moccasins will be making their fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Courtesy of SSC
SSC Tournament Final: Saint Leo - Florida Southern 58-61 SSC Tournament Semifinals: Saint Leo - Eckerd 73-67 Florida Southern - Florida Tech 108-80
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