Glenn Hanson and John McNulty scored 23 points each for Florida Southern to offset a tournament-record 28-point performance by American's Frank Ross, as the Moccasins defeated the Eagles, 94-86, tonight in the opening round of the United First Federal Classic at Florida Southern.
Florida Southern (10-1) faces Long Island (5-5), who won the first game when Derek Powell made a five-foot jumper with two seconds left for a 72-71 victory over Eastern Illinois, in Saturday's championship game. American (3-7) plays Eastern Illinois (4-3) in the consolation game at 6:30.
Florida Southern broke away from an 8-8 tie with an 8-2 spurt that gave the Moccasins the lead for good, 16-10, with 13:27 remaining in the period. The Eagles committed 12 turnovers in the first half as Florida Southern built a 48-35 halftime lead.
Florida Southern led, 58-40, with 17:27 remaining before the Eagles started a 26-11 run of their own. With 8:06 remaining, Jim Lutz's jumper in the lane cut the American deficit to 69-66. Six straight free throws, two each by McNulty, Bill Sawyer and Jerry Johnson, built the Moccasin lead back to nine, 75-66, and American never threatened again.
Charles West and Eric White had 12 points each for the Eagles and Lutz scored 10. White also had eight rebounds for American, which outrebounded Florida Southern, 42-25. For the Moccasins, Johnson had 15 points and Hanson had nine rebounds.
In the first game, Long Island led, 47-37, at halftime and held a nine-point advantage with 14:53 remaining. But Eastern Illinois rallied when 7-foot center Keven Duckworth scored 10 straight points to put the Panthers ahead, 71-70, with 45 seconds remaining.