ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women’s basketball team (7-1) rebounded from their first loss of the season with an 80-60 defeat of the Flagler College Saints (2-7) Saturday evening at the Flagler Gym.
The Lions couldn’t get a handle on the pesky Saints bunch the first half, as they stayed nearly point for point with Saint Leo. But, with the score tied at nine apiece, the Lions went on an 11-2 run highlighted by back to back three point field goals by Whitley Washington forcing Flagler to call a timeout. The momentary break slowed the Lions’ attack down and put the Saints on a small 6-2 streak of their own bringing them back to within five.
Shrotly after SLU regained the momentum, as the tenacious inside play of Marquita Fenn and Sabrina Schmitt push the lead back up to ten points. With less than three minutes to go in the half, Flagler responded with a 7-0 run pulling to within three points of the lead. The two teams traded baskets the remainder of the half with Saint Leo taking a five point lead into the break.
Out of the locker room, the Saints cut the lead to two with 18:00 minutes remaining on the clock. Both offenses grew stagnate over the next couple minutes, as both teams combined for five turnovers. However, Washington stepped to the forefront once again for the Lions hitting her third of four three point baskets, increasing the Lions lead and swinging the momentum back on the side of SLU.
The Lions lead slowly began to grow as the inside presence of Dominique Daniels and Fenn began to overwhelm the Saints. With the lead 57-50 in favor on the Lions, SLU used the next four minutes to balloon their lead to 21 going on a 16-4 run in which Daniels scored eight of her ten second half points.
The Lions defense suffocated FC during the half, holding them to just 31 percent shooting and forcing 21 turnovers for the game.
On the night, Washington poured in 16 points and collected five rebounds off the bench. Fenn also stepped up for Saint Leo scoring 13 points and totaling eight rebounds, just two boards short of a double-double. Daniels had a phenomenal game as well, going 6-for-9 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the line for a 16 point night. Schmitt nearly clinched a double-double, but finished the night with nine points and eight rebounds. Nichole Tyler chipped in seven points going 2-for-4 from behind the three-point line.
The bench was clutch for the Lions, as they totaled 42 points. The team also collected 28 points in the paint and scored 29 points off Saint turnovers.
SLU was clutch from the free-throw line hitting 81 percent of their shots (17-for-21). The Lions, after a slow start, finished the game shooting 44 percent from the floor (27-for-62) and put the game away with tremendous three point shooting going 41 percent behind the arch (9-for-22).
Saint Leo now focuses their attention on the Florida Southern Classic. The Lions’ first opponent of the two-day tournament will be Lenoir-Rhyne University. Tip-off is scheduled for Wednesday December 17 at 5:30 pm from the Jenkins Field House in Lakeland, Fla.