The two institutions have not played against each other in men's basketball since the mid-1990s making Tuesday night's matchup between the Santa Fe Saints and Florida Gateway College Timberwolves somewhat nostalgic but not all that close as SF prevailed 103-89.
"It's nice to play another college located close by," said SF Head Coach Chris Mowry. "They are excited to have basketball back and they should be. Coach (Charles) Ruise has done a nice job."
The Saints, playing their third game in four days, came out of the locker room with the hot hands offensively, building a double-digit lead at 15-4 eight minutes in. Four consecutive 3-pointers by Miles Coleman and a basket from the inside by Tyrese Williams ballooned the Saints lead to 48-20 with four minutes to go in the first half. "I was very happy with how we came out in the first half," said Mowry. "Miles had a super half with seven 3-pointers."
After the Saints (8-2) had built their largest lead of the night at 64-35 four minutes into the second half, the Timberwolves (5-5) started to chip away at the deficit, eventually getting it to single digits at 95-86 with 1:30 left to play. "We came out sloppy in the second half and they took advantage of it," said Mowry. "They shot the ball much better and we gave up way too many offensive rebounds."
Coleman led five Saints in double figures with 27 points, 25 of which he scored in the first half. Islam hit for a season high 16 while Cloudon scored 14, Kimar Edwards and Williams 12 each. Bryan O'Boyle led all scorers with 29 points for the Timberwolves in 35 minutes of play.
Coach Mowry said the game had a familiar feel to it. "It felt like a bit of a rivalry game. I think we will see this grow back into the rivalry it once was."
FGC, formerly Lake City Community College, has jump-started four intercollegiate athletic teams in the last two years with volleyball, women's cross-country and men's golf all getting started last year and men's basketball this year.
All are competing on the NJCAA Division II level.
The Saints, who have won six straight games, will get a well-earned day of rest tomorrow before preparing to host Hillsborough CC for a 2 pm tip on Saturday at the SF gymnasium.
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