For the first time in 629 days, the St. Francis men’s basketball team got the opportunity to take the court in Daniel Lynch Gymnasium in front of fans on Saturday.
In the first home game for 12 of the 17 players on the roster, the Terriers fell to St. Thomas (MN), 91-73. The win was the first for St. Thomas since making the historic jump from NCAA Division III competition to Division I.
The Terriers worked from behind for the entirety of regulation, after St. Thomas opened the game on a 13-5 run and did not relinquish the lead. The Tommies first half lead climbed to as many as 12, but leading scorer Michael Cubbage and the Terriers pulled to within four and five points on two different occasions in the first half.
They faced at 45-37 deficit at halftime.
Despite being down, the Terriers returned to the court motivated in the second half, opening the frame on a 13-9 run and eventually cutting the Tommies lead to four with 16:15 to play.
Junior guard Rob Higgins scored 12 of his season-best 16 points in the second half. Higgins added a team-leading four assists, as well as two steals and two rebounds.
Higgins was only bested in the scoring column by Marist transfer Michael Cubbage, who recorded a career shooting day: 20 points (8-15 FG, 1-5 3PT), adding seven rebounds to lead the team, two steals and one assist.
Junior guard Trey Quartlebaum also posted a career-best shooting performance, dropping 14 points (5-9 FG, 3-7 3PT) and three rebounds.
Fellow junior guard Larry Moreno scored his first points of the season, contributing eight points, five rebounds, and two assists in 25 minutes off the bench.
St. Francis opens play on the road in the Emerald Coast Classic against Penn State on Thursday. Tip-off is schedule for 7:00 p.m. and can be streamed on Big Ten Network.