Jillian Kurtz

The Florida Southern men’s basketball team took on the University of Florida Gators on Oct. 30 in a pre-season exhibition game at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.

The Mocs fell into an early drought as the Gators were able to build a 20-point lead in the first 11 minutes. Southern was unable to close the gap for the rest of the first half and ended the half trailing the Gators with a score of 54-34.

“We are just focused on tonight and playing the best we can,” freshman DeAndre Campbell said before the game. “As long as we play together as a team and stay together, we will always have a chance.”

The second half started with Florida Southern eating away at the 20 point lead, but was never able to climb out of the early hole.

The Moccasins suffered a 95-70 loss against the Gators.

Jonathan Lawton was named the Player of the Game, scoring 25 points for the Mocs, the highest amount of points by a player on either team.

The Center for Student Involvement took 60 students on a “Pack the Bus” trip up to “The Swamp” to support the Mocs at no cost to the students. T-shirts were also given out to the students attending the game.

“I’m a senior at FSC, but I’m also from Gainesville, so it was really cool seeing the Gators play our boys,” Niyyah Bilal Hayes said. “It was surreal seeing the guys I know and have classes with playing on the O’Connell Court!”

“I am so excited that we got to play against a D1 team,” Florida Southern cheerleader Marissa Mengelkoch said. “I am most looking forward to just getting to watch our team get back out on the court this season.”

“It’s always a great feeling knowing you have people behind you and support you no matter what,” Campbell said after the game. “It was great seeing our fans make the trip and showing love. It was all together a great experience.”

The Moccasins have their first regular season game against West Alabama on Nov. 9 in the Jenkins Field House.


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