TAMPA, FL - The Pfeiffer men's basketball team (3-7) fell to a tough Eckerd (6-4) team by a final score of 85-68 in the opener of the University of Tampa Tournament. The Tritons had five players score in double figures, led by 21 points from Josh Snodgrass, who went 7-for-9 from the field. Freshman Mike Smith, Conference Carolinas leading scorer at 25.7 points per game, had 24 points, his ninth straight game scoring over 20 points. Sophomore forward David McNair also continued his strong play posting a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, his third consecutive game with double digit rebounds.
AJ Clark added 15 points for the Falcons and Matt Ellwood grabbed nine boards.
Alex Bodney had 17 points for Eckerd and Malcom Brunner Jr. had 14 points and eight rebounds. Forward Ray Darnell finished with eight points, 11 rebounds and five assists for Eckerd who shot 50.9 percent from the field.
The game was tight for the first 30 minutes of the game and a bucket in the lane from Silvere Aluko cut the lead to 52-47 at the 11:20 mark of the second half. However, Eckerd would outscore the Falcons 33-21 the rest of the way to secure the victory.
Thanks to the effort of Snodgress, the Tritons had a 20-2 advantage in bench points.
Eckerd gained the upper hand early in the contest, running out to a 10-2 advantage. Eckerd pushed the lead to as much as 11 at 24-13 at the 12:37 mark, but the Falcons mounted a comeback. A jumper by David McNair capped a 15-6 spurt by Pfeiffer that cut the lead to 30-28 with just under five minutes to play in the half. The team's traded baskets down the stretch and a late jumper by Snodgrass gave Eckerd a 38-33 lead.
Aluko had seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks, giving him 34 rejections on the season.
Pfeiffer will take on the host Spartans of Tampa University tomorrow at 4 p.m., their last contest of 2013. The Falcons will return to Conference Carolinas action following the break on Jan. 4 at Merner Gym with tipoff coming 30 minutes after the conclusion of the women's game.