Mocs hand No. 12 Tampa first loss
Florida Southern shares lead of SSC with win against Spartans
Florida Southern Athletics
TAMPA -- Minus leading scorer Terry Jenkins (15.2 ppg) and playing without starter Cameron Wooten for more than half the game, the Moccasins handed previously unbeaten and 12th-ranked Tampa its first loss of the season, 81-67, Wednesday night at Tampa.
Winning for the 10th time in the last 11 games, the Moccasins (13-4) claimed a share of the Sunshine State Conference lead with the Spartans and Rollins. All three are 5-1 in the SSC. The win was the Moccasins' seventh consecutive against the Spartans.
Terry Jenkins didn't make the trip due to illness. Wooten injured a knee in the first minute of the game, returned briefly in the first half, but did not play in the second half.
That left Rion Rayfield, Brandon Jenkins and Damon Ellison to pick up the slack and they responded by combing for 58 of the Moccasins' points. Rayfield scored a season-high 24, with 20 of them coming in the second half. He was 9-11 from the free throw line and hit five three-pointers in the game. Brandon Jenkins connected for 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Ellison gave the Moccasins a 17-point effort off the bench.
Freshman Dominic Lane made his first collegiate start in place of Terry Jenkins and helped shut down Tampa scoring leader Rashad Callaway. Averaging a team-leading 18.6 points, Callaway was just two of 15 from the field, missed four free throws, committed eight turnovers and scored just 11 points. Four other Spartans also scored in double figures, led by Anthony Griffis and Fred Woods, who each tallied 16. Woods also collected 17 rebounds.
Tampa led by four at halftime, 31-27, but Rayfield's three-pointer with 12:48 left in the game broke a 43-43 tie and started a 15-6 FSC run over the next four minutes. The Moccasins had a double-digit lead for the final 5:22 of the game.
Saturday the Moccasins will be locked up in another battle for first place in the SSC with a 4 p.m. game at Rollins.