Florida Southern failed to overcome a 19 point deficit in the second half against Stonehill College with a final score of 79-89 to complete the Terrace Hotel Thanksgiving Classic in Jenkins Field House.
Jonathon Lawton, Slinky Jones and Brett Hanson combined for 53 points to lead the Mocs. Hanson led the trio with 23 points and 6 rebounds while Jones put up 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals.
Lawton scored 10 points and had 4 assists but was pulled out in the second half and treated for a sprained ankle.
Jones started it off for the Mocs, scoring the first layup of the game before Stonehill took control and ran up a 20-11 lead after five minutes. Both teams went scoreless for nearly three minutes before Stonehill expanded their lead to 14 points (27-13) with 10 minutes left.
Florida Southern tried to find a grove in the last seven minutes, getting as close as 3 points (34-37) with 1:56 before Stonehill took a 5 point lead (36-41) into the half.
Jones had 12 points and 3 steals in the first half.
“I told myself that I had to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor,” Jones said.
Stonehill opened the second half by pulling out to a 19 point lead (42-61) with 13:26 left in the game. Hanson responded with 8 points over the next 1:46 to bring it to a 11 point difference.
Head Coach Mike Donnelly told his team as they were down by 19 to just hang in there and to keep battling.
Stonehill kept a double digit lead until 1:16 left in the game where a layup by Jones put the Mocs in a single digit deficit (72-81).
Brett Hanson scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, but it was not enough as Stonehill defeated the Mocs by 10 points.
Florida Southern will play the University of Tampa on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Jenkins Field House to open Sunshine State Conference play. Donnelly says the team will be “focusing on the little things” as the team prepares for Wednesday’s rivalry.