It was another tough game for the Saints Tuesday night as the men’s basketball team fell to Tallahassee Community College by a score of 73-90. Santa Fe came into this game looking to put an end to their two-game skid and remain above .500. Their opponent, 13th-ranked TCC, were looking to extend their four-game win streak to five.
This was a very heavily contested game in the moments following tip-off. The beginning of the first half saw both teams trading baskets, with the Saints maintaining a one-possession lead.
It wasn’t until the 11-minute mark in the first half, and back-to-back turnovers by the Saints, that TCC was finally able to start taking control. They capitalized on Santa Fe’s mistakes and were able to open up a 9-point lead. The Saints continued to battle throughout the half, but TCC had found their groove. Santa Fe found themselves down 33-46 entering halftime.
The Saints came out of the locker room looking energized to start the second half. The team went on a 13-4 run in the first 4 minutes to cut the lead down to just 4 points. Red-shirt sophomore guard Jalen Speer led the charge with his scoring and playmaking and was a major contributor throughout the game.
Unfortunately for the Saints, however, this run would not be enough, as TCC found their rhythm again on offense and locked down defensively. TCC was able to pull away and finish off Santa Fe by a score of 73-90.
The Saints lack of efficiency from the field, especially from 3-point range, was a major factor in this loss. Santa Fe shot 35.3% from the field and a mere 30.6% from three. While these numbers may not be too far below average, their opponent shot an impressive 47.2% from the field. The Saints were extremely successful, however, in stopping TCC’s 3-point offense, holding them to a low 25% from that range.
The leading scorer for the Saints was red-shirt sophomore guard Jalen Speer as he poured in 17 points with 6 rebounds and 3 assists to go with it. Speer has been the team’s leading scorer to this point in the season, averaging 16.7 points per game.
Red-shirt freshman guard Cole Deptula and sophomore forward Nikolaos Noumeros were also active in the scoring column, as they put in 14 points each. The Saints were fairly efficient from the line throughout, shooting 82.4%, which was very helpful to them in keeping the game close early.
The Santa Fe Saints will be looking to turn things around this Saturday against Central Georgia Technical College. The tip-off is set for 4 pm This will be the first of two back-to-back road games for the Saints. They return to Gainesville in December for a five-game homestand.