San Antonio – Lorenzo Anthony and Nick Morey led a furious second half rally that fell just short as Nova Southeastern University hung on and defeated St. Mary’s University, 51-50, in men’s basketball action Sunday night at the University of West Florida Fieldhouse on the final day of the UWF Hoop Classic.

With just 8:16 left to play in the game, St. Mary’s trailed Nova Southeastern, 40-29. The Rattlers finally found their shooting touch, outscoring NSU 21-11, to nearly rally for the win. Anthony (Sr., San Antonio) scored seven points during the run, while Morey (Sr., Belpre, Ohio) and Ronald Tata (Sr., Houston) each added four points.

Back-to-back Tata baskets, the second with 5:01 left to play, cut the NSU lead to just four points at 43-39. A pair of Marlon Smith (Fr., San Antonio) free throws made it a three point game at 46-43 with 3:45 to go. Anthony then cut the deficit to just one with a pair of free throws at the 3:28 mark. However, each time the Rattlers cut the lead to one, NSU responded. Darrin Williams hit a layup to make the lead three again. Morey responded on the next Rattler possession with a layup of his own and it was a one-point lead with 3:07 to play. Tim Coenraad hit a short jumper to again give NSU a three-point edge with 2:37 left. Then the teams both hit a scoring drought for the next two minutes. Alex Gynes made one-of-two free throws to give Nova Southeastern a four-point edge with 32 seconds left. Anthony responded with a there-pointer with four seconds left, but that was it as NSU held on for the win.

Morey led the Rattlers with 15 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Anthony and Smith each added nine points for the Rattlers. As a team, St. Mary’s shot 32.1 percent from the field (17-53). The Rattlers outrebounded NSU, 38-34.

With the loss the Rattlers fell to 0-2 overall this season, while Nova Southeastern improved to 1-1. St. Mary’s will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Kingsville to face Texas A&M University-Kingsville in a non-conference game at 7 p.m.

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