Florio Sparks Second Half Comeback as Men’s Basketball Downs Sage 78-67

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HOBOKEN, N.J. (January 15, 2019)  – Senior Kevin Florio scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half as the Stevens Institute of Technology men's basketball team used a 14-0 run to overcome a four-point halftime deficit and defeat The Sage Colleges 78-67 Tuesday night in an Empire 8 Conference game at Canavan Arena.

Sophomore Alec DiPietrantonio posted his third straight double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds and senior Ryan Coffey added five points and 10 boards for the Ducks, who snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 12-4 overall and 5-2 in league play. Stevens has topped Sage in four straight meetings.

Christian Larson came off the bench to record a team-high 17 points and Jalon Borders added 15 for the Gators, who fell 5-10 overall and 1-5 in the Empire 8. Sage has dropped four straight contests. Junior Dylan Walsh led Stevens' defensive effort that held Sage's leading scorer, Chris Kidd, to just two points on 1-of-8 shooting.

Despite the final score, the teams got off to sluggish start, combining for just 10 points over the four minutes of the game. Florio sank Stevens' first field goal of the game, hitting a long three 3:21 into the opening half. Senior Frank Amari put the home team in front for the first time a few plays later, making layups on consecutive possessions. Amari finished with 12 points as four Ducks reached double digits.

Stevens opened as much as an 11-point advantage after a pair of DiPietrantonio free throws, before Sage began to chip away at the Ducks' lead, retaking a 31-30 lead after a Darius Denmark three late in the half. The Gators outscored the Ducks 11-2 over the final 4:03 to take a four-point lead into the intermission.

An Anthony Mitchell fast-break layup opened second-half scoring and Sage held on to its lead over the next five minutes, before Stevens went on a 14-0 run to jump back in front and put the game out of reach. The Ducks forced Sage four misses and caused five turnovers during the key game-deciding stretch.

Pivotal Point

  • Florio sank back-to-back threes over a 50-second span to turn a one-point deficit into a five-point lead as part of Stevens' game-changing 14-0 run. After taking the lead, with 15:25 remaining in the second half, the Ducks would not relinquish it.

Inside the Numbers

  • Stevens outshot Sage, 45.8 percent to 35.2. The Ducks converted over 50 percent of their attempts (15-of-29) from the floor in the second half. 
  • The Ducks shot 9-for-19 on three-point attempts, marking the team's second-best performance from behind the arc this season.
  • Behind Coffey and DiPietrantonio, the Ducks won the battle of the boards, 45-41, although Sage outgained Stevens on the offensive glass, 11-8. The advantage on the offensive glass allowed Sage to maintain a 15-7 margin in second-chance points.
  • Three players (junior Michael Zignorski, Coffey and Amari) each handed out four assists. Sage's Frane Larose led all players with five.
  • DiPietrantonio rejected two shots as Stevens blocked five Sage shots. 

Unsung Hero

  • Senior Jayson Winick returned to the lineup, coming off the bench to score four points, pull down four rebounds and hand out an assist.

From the Court

  • "Defensively, we were much better tonight. Sage bothered us in the first half with their zone, but I was pleased at how our team responded at the beginning of the second half. I'm happy with the win, but we still need to improve on making the extra-effort plays such as getting on the floor for loose balls and taking charges." - head coach Bobby Hurley

Up Next

  • Stevens welcomes Houghton College to Canavan Arena on Friday, Jan. 18 for the middle game of the team's season-long three-game homestand.
  • The Ducks topped the Highlanders in both meetings one season ago.
  • Live stats and video links are available on StevensDucks.com.

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