MBB: Saints hold off Lions, 59-51

ST. AUGUSTINE – Jerrell Oxendine scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the second half as Flagler College rallied to defeat Saint Leo University 59-51 in a non-conference men’s basketball game Monday night at Flagler Gymnasium.

Flagler improves to 5-0, its best start since the 2010-11 season where the Saints won their first six games. Saint Leo, a member of the Sunshine State Conference, had its two-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 4-3 overall. The Lions are now 0-2 on the road this season.

Oxendine was 4 for 8 from the field and sank three 3-pointers along with making 5 of 6 from the free throw line. He also dished out four assists. Dennis Diaz added 13 points, all of which were scored in the second half. Lydell Manigo chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds. Desmond Gibson and De’Aires Tate each grabbed nine rebounds for the Saints. Keshaun Hamilton corralled seven rebounds and tallied three assists in his debut for the Saints.

Flagler overcame a cold shooting first half (26.7%) to scorch the nets in the second half (57.1%).

Ron Foxx scored a game-high 17 points on 5 of 16 shooting for Saint Leo. He made 7 of 10 from the free throw line. Marcus Dewberry added 10 points and four steals for the Lions. Edmunds Dukulis came off the bench to contribute eight points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Saint Leo shot a cool 28.6% from the floor in the first half, but held a slim 21-20 lead at the break. The Lions shot 32.7% from the field, but was able to stay in the game with its red-hot shooting from the charity stripe (81.3%).

The Saints never trailed in the second half and opened on a 10-3 run with the help of treys by Diaz and Oxendine. A Dewberry layup with 12:52 to go tied the game at 32.

Dewberry tied the game again at 48 with 3:21 left with a layup. Flagler scored the next seven points to put the game out of reach. Diaz made 3 out of 4 free throw shots in the run and Oxendine capped the run by making a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left. In the last two-plus minutes, Flagler made 9 of 10 free throw attempts. The Saints made 12 of 16 from the line in the game.

Flagler will hit the road for the first time on Wednesday (Dec. 3) in a non-conference game at Palm Beach Atlantic University at 7 p.m.

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