SAINT LEO, Fla. – After a sluggish start to their second game of the 2008-09 season, the Saint Leo women’s basketball team shut down the visiting Ave Maria Gyrenes in the second half to win 101-54 in the final day of the Sleep Inn Classic at the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
The Lions (2-0) saw a pesky Ave Maria team stay step-for-step with them through the first 10 minutes as the Gyrenes answered an early run by Saint Leo with a momentum swing of their own, going on a 10-5 run to bring the score to 19-17 with just over nine minutes to play in the first half. After that, the Lions would see Ave Maria (1-5) pull to with three on multiple occasions before two Lauren Lee jumpers and a trey from Joanna Bussa put SLU up 10 with a minute to play. That would be the Lions’ first double-digit lead of the game, a margin they would only increase in the second period.
After shooting 30 percent in the first half, the Lions came out and blistered the nets, shooting nearly 50 percent in the second half, while the SLU defense held the Gyrenes to just four field goals in the final 20 minutes. The stifling Lion defense kept Ave Maria from scoring their initial second-half bucket until 8:45 was left on the clock. Up to that point it was a 49-12 run that sealed the game for the Green & Gold.
As the margin increased, the Lions saw their score creep up into the 90’s and pushed to try and eclipse that magical 100-point night, a score that Saint Leo women’s basketball has not seen in three seasons. The Lions would achieve the century mark in anticlimactic fashion as the sophomore Lee drove the lane, was fouled, and still sunk the bucket to give the Lion fans in attendance one last thing to cheer about. Lee would sink her free throw to put the finishing touch on the 101-point Saint Leo effort.
Every Saint Leo player would score on the evening, as five Lions had double-figures, including Whitley Washington who lead the team with 13 points and had four steals. Sabrina Schmitt and Biranna Lollis would add 12 points each and Lee would chip in with 11 points. Monique Reynard would also have 10 points as the Lions finished the night shooting 40 percent (35-for-87) from the field and almost 30 percent (9-for-31) from behind the arc.
A team that is shaping up to be a solid performer from the charity stripe as well, Saint Leo also went 22-for-26 (84 percent) in free throws. The Lions also got 45 points off of turnovers and 60 points came from bench personnel.
Saint Leo will now face three schools from Puerto Rico as they square off against the University of Puerto – Cayey on Wednesday afternoon. The game will tip-off at 5:30 pm from the Marion Bowman Activities Center on the campus of Saint Leo University.