In what was a tough back-and-forth matchup, the Santa Fe Saints came up short against the No. 12 Daytona State Falcons. Following their second matchup of the season, the Saints have fallen to 13-11 on the year.
The Falcons came out firing in the first half, as they started the game on a 12-4 run in the first four minutes of play. The Saints would find themselves down 21-11 about midway through the half. However, they began to swing the momentum in their favor, and a late 17-8 run gave the saints a 46-43 lead at halftime.
Jalen Speer and Kordell Brown combined for 28 points at the break, and the Saints went 11-11 from the free throw line.
Defensively, the Saints held the Falcons to 43% from the field and 17% from three.
“I thought we played well (in the first half), we didn’t turn the ball over,” said Head Coach Chris Mowry. “We got to the basket and finished in transition, and when we got stops we were able to get easy buckets.”
The Falcons came out of the half and looked like a different team as they quickly regained their lead. About midway through the second half, the Saints found themselves down by as much as 13 points.
“I thought they came out with a lot of energy, and I thought we came out flat,” said coach Mowry. “They jumped on us pretty quick and we turned the ball over three or four times in our first five or six possessions, and it led to easy shots for them.”
Daytona State ran a much different defensive scheme in the second half. They began to throw traps and double-teams at the Saints, which led to transition points and tough shot attempts.
Santa Fe would not back down, however. With a little over five minutes remaining, sophomore guard Giovanni Baerga-Uselis hit a three to put the Saints within six. Unfortunately, that was the closest the game would get down the stretch as Daytona State held on to win 92-84.
The Saints shot just 38% from the field and 27% from the three in the second half. They finished at 42% from the field and 24% from beyond the arch in what was a poor shooting night overall.
Despite holding the Falcons to 17% from three, the Saints were dominated in the paint, being outscored 64-44 in that category.
The Saints were also outrebounded 52-31, with 16 of Daytona’s 52 being offensive.
Player of the Game: Kordell Brown
The sophomore forward from Orlando was active on both sides of the floor last night. Brown put up 23 points on 8-15 from the field and 1-3 from three to go along with 4 rebounds.
Defensively, Brown recorded three steals and three blocks in what was a valiant effort defensively.
The Saints (13-11) will face off against Florida State College at Jacksonville (6-17) in Saturday in hopes of getting back on the win column.