SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women’s basketball team (4-0) struggled in the second half but still overcame a fierce charge to defeat the University of Puerto Rico – Bayamon (0-1) by the final score of 75-62 Friday evening at the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
The Lions took charge in the early stages of the game shooting 49 percent from the floor. Forward Dominique Daniels led the way for Saint Leo totaling eight points in the first 20 minutes along with four boards.
Action heated up quickly for the Lions offense jumping out to 12-5 lead just minutes into the game. The Lions continued to press the Bayamon defense culminating with a Melissa Guerero jumper giving the Lions a fifteen point lead with just under eight minutes to go in the first.
The powerful Lions offense, which averages 88.0 points per game, began to slow though do to a pesky Bayamon defense, as the Lions only posted two points in the final four minutes. Saint Leo’s defense did hold up its end of the bargain though, allowing UPR-Bayamon to penetrate the lane once the final 4:02 of the half, securing the Lions 15 point lead heading into the break.
The Lions dominated the paint scoring 20 points while capitalizing on their opponents 14 turnovers with 17 points.
The commanding lead began to slip away on a late charge by Bayamon in the second half.
The half started out well for the Lions, as they scored the first 12 points increasing their lead to 27. The next four minute belonged to Bayamon, as they tallied 12 of the next 17 points. That was followed up with another big Bayamon run cutting the Lions lead to eight. The lead was chipped down to six with two and half minutes to go but the Lions put the halt on the Bayamon run when Guerero nailed a jumper from the right wing sending SLU on a 5-0 spurt putting the game out of reach for Bayamon.
The Lions were saved by their bench as they scored 40 total points compared to just 18 for UPR-Bayamon.
Marquita Fenn and Daniels had 13 points a piece, while Sierra Williams scored 12 points and Sabrina Schmitt chipped in ten, while Lauren Lee pulled in six rebounds, tying for the team lead.
The Lions return to action Saturday, November 22 when Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras visits the Bowman Center in non-conference action. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 pm.