ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Lander men's basketball team got 17 points from Zane Rankin and 16 from Rahu Purdie as the Bearcats knocked off Flagler 87-74 in a road Peach Belt Conference victory on Saturday afternoon.
DeShundre Rucker added 14 points and seven rebounds, both career-highs, for the Bearcats (8-13, 4-11 PBC). Srdjan Ivic chipped in 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Flagler (7-12, 4-11 PBC) was led by 22 points from Vaughn McCall. Lander's defense turned the Saints over 17 times, which led to 22 Bearcat points.
Four quick points from Rankin helped the Bearcats build an early 8-2 lead and a 12-4 run over the final 4:17 of the first half put Lander ahead 42-29 at the break.
The Bearcats used back-to-back baskets from Purdie to highlight a 6-0 run to begin the second half and push the Lander lead to 48-29. Vaughn McCall's two free throws at the 15:55 mark pulled the Saints within 16, but Purdie and Rankin responded with three-pointers on consecutive possessions.
Lander continued to pull away as a jumper from Nicklas Jonsson gave Lander its largest lead of the day, 71-47, with 9:04 to play.
The Saints closed the game with 15 of the final 21 points scored, but never pulled within single digits in the second half.
Lander hosts Francis Marion Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m in Finis Horne Arena.