Jennell Retamar, Staff Writer

This past Saturday, the Mocs basketball team beat Saint Leo with a final score of 67-53 in a Sunshine State Conference game on home court. This win improved their record to 17-3 overall and 8-3 in the SSC. This win came on the heels of a national ranking in two separate polls.

The last time they were ranked nationally was in the 2011-12 season when the team advanced to the 18th spot.

“I think it’s awesome and I’m proud of my team for being ranked and accomplishing everything we have done this season. We have definitely come so far from last year. We already passed our wins from last year, we only won 13 games last season and we have 17 wins now so that is an improvement,” senior Gianna Vastola said.

The top scorers for the Moccasins were senior Mariah Harris and junior Bailey Florin with a collective total of 34 points. Harris scored 18 points, Florin scored a season-high 16 points and senior Syndi Payne added 12 points, four assists and three steals to the scoreboard.

Sophomore Jensen Blassage added nine points and five assists for Florida Southern while freshman Anja Fuchs-Robetin grabbed seven rebounds and six points during her time in the game.

“We need to stay healthy and focused and improve our game because teams are getting better and we need to step up,” Vastola said.

While being ranked 24th in the USA Today Sports/WBCA Coaches’ Poll, the Mocs moved up two spots to be tied for No. 23 in the latest D2SIDA National Media Poll.

Florida Southern is one of only two SSC schools ranked in both of this past week’s national polls Nova Southeastern fell down two spots to 12th in the latest USA Today Sports/WBCA Coaches’ Poll and is ranked 10th in the latest D2SIDA National Media Poll.

“It’s a great feeling to be ranked because it lets us know that we can compete with the best teams in the nation. Last year it was new everything and we have improved so much throughout the last year,” senior Shaquita Snow said.

This is the fifth straight week that the Moccasins have been nationally ranked in the D2SIDA poll. They were ranked 25th for the week of Jan. 18 and were ranked 21st in the first two weekly polls of the 2016 and in the final poll of the 2015 calendar year on Dec. 22.

“We need to keep on fighting, keep working hard and bettering each other,” Snow said.

The next home game is Feb. 10 at Rollins at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to wear red during the game.