Florence, Ala. (December 30, 2007) – The University of Alabama-Huntsville (5-5) handed the Saint Leo University (7-4) women’s basketball team a 77-76 setback in overtime Sunday in the Marriott Shoals Holiday Classic. The Lions lost both games in the event held at the University of North Alabama.

The Chargers rallied from a 14-point deficit (58-44) in the final seven minutes and 30 seconds of regulation time to take a 64-61 lead, but the Lions wouldn’t go away. Monique Reynard (So., Valrico, Fla.) sent the game into overtime by making a 3-point shot with five seconds showing on the clock.

UAH took control in overtime, leading 73-66 with 2:38 left in the period.  But the Lions once again bounced back and cut the deficit to one point on a pair of free throws by Amanda Holloway (Sr., West Palm Beach, Fla.) with 10 seconds left. Tonya McKinney missed both free throw attempts for UAH, and Dominique Daniels (So., Columbus, Ohio) grabbed the rebound for Saint Leo, giving the Lions one more chance.

However, Holloway missed a 3-point shot with three ticks on the clock, the rebound went to the Chargers and the clock ran down to zero.

Latasha Lawrence (Sr., Jacksonville, Fla.) poured in 22 points, added four rebounds and dished out three assists to spearhead Saint Leo. Holloway added 11 points and five assists. She now has scored in double figures 10 times during the 2007-08 season. Daniels had a double-double with a game high 11 rebounds and 10 points.

Julie Richardson and Kristen Banes led the way for the victors with 23 and 18 points respectively.

The Lions were red hot from the floor in the second half, hitting 18-of-31 for a 58.1 percentage and finished the game 30-62 for 48.4 percent. They were five-of-nine (55.6 percent) from 3-point land and 11-of-12 (91.7 percent) from the charity stripe. Saint Leo was hurt by making 19 turnovers in the second half. UAH was 27-of-70 (38.6 percent) from the floor, 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) from beyond the arc and 15-24 (62.5 percent) from the free throw line. Saint Leo won the battle of the boards 42-39, but had seven more turnovers. 

The Lions controlled things in the first half and left the floor at intermission with a 33-24 lead. Melissa Guerero (Jr., Trinidad & Tobago) won the battle for an offensive rebound and made a short jumper to give her team a 2-0 lead coming out of the gate. The Chargers never led in the first half.

Saint Leo’s largest lead of the first half came at 29-15 with 5:06 remaining to the break on a 3-pointer by Nichole Tyler (Jr., Van Etten, NY). Lawrence and Tyler led the Lions on offense with eight and six points respectively in the first half. Daniels led both teams with five rebounds.

Neither team shot very well in the first half, but Saint Leo’s field goal percentage from beyond the arc and its free throw shooting proved to be the difference. The Lions were true on three-of-four attempts for a percentage of .750, while UAH missed nine of 11 shots for an 18.2 percentage on 3-pointers. SLU made six-of-seven charity tosses (85.7 percent), while the Chargers went two-of-six (33.3 percent). Saint Leo was 12-of-31 for 38.7 percent overall from the floor, while the Charges were 10-of-30 for 33.3 percent.  

Saint Leo returns home Saturday to open its Sunshine State Conference schedule against Rollins College. The game is set for 2:00 p.m.