FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Lions mounted a 16-5 run at nearing the end of regulation but the effort wasn’t enough as the Nova Southeastern University Sharks handed the Lions (10-15, 2-13 SSC) their fourth-straight SSC loss Saturday afternoon from the NSU campus, 71-68.
The two teams traded the lead four times throughout the game, each holding the lead for an extended period of time. Unfortunately for Lions’ fans, a 17-7 spurt for the Sharks with about seven minutes remaining proved to be too much for the Lions to overcome despite the late rally.
Spearheading the charge for SLU was Whitley Washington. Washington closed the night as the top Lions’ scores with 20 points, while dishing out six assists and grabbing five rebounds. Marquita Fenn had an outstanding game as well, scoring 18 points and pulling down four boards. Senior Nichole Tyler played a prominent role for Saint Leo scoring 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Nova began the half quickly, scoring nine of the first 13 points and then stretched their lead to nine, 22-13, with under 10 minutes to play.
SLU never quit though, as they closed the remainder of the half outscoring the Sharks 15-4, including five of Fenn’s half leading 11 points, to take their first lead of the game going into the locker room.
Fenn continued to add to the Lions lead hitting two of their first four baskets out of the break. But with a 37-30 lead, NSU began a rally of their own, going on a 14-4 to regain the lead, 46-43.
Strong interior play by Stephanie Sarosi helped expand the Sharks’ lead to 11, 63-52, with 4:14 remaining. Saint Leo continued to show heart though, as they refused to lay down for Nova Southeastern, closing the game on 16-5 run and keeping the decision in doubt until the final seconds. However, the last ditch effort was not enough the balanced inside and outside game of NSU proved to be too much as they wrapped up the three point victory.
Led by Sarosi, the Sharks outscored the Lions 48-24 inside the paint. The inside play ultimately proved to be the difference in the game as the Lions were able to shoot 38 percent from the floor (24-for-64) while being outrebounded by ten, 41-31.
The Lions loss marks the final road game of the 2008-09 season as they finish up the regular season with two contests from the Marion Bowman Activities Center. The first of the two games with occur on Wednesday, February 25, as the Lions play host to the Eckerd College Tritons. The SSC tilt is set to begin at 5:30 pm.