LAKELAND, Fla. – Led by Dominique Daniels’ second double-double of the 2009-10 season, the Saint Leo women’s basketball team (7-2) defeated the College of Saint Rose Golden Knights, 59-50, on the final day of the Florida Southern Holiday Inn Classic Sunday afternoon.
In the non-conference tilt, Daniels led all scorers with 16 points (6-for-11) and a game-best 10 rebounds. Gekeela Clemmons also had a solid contest pouring in 15 points, while Brittany Carannante continued her hot play scoring 10 points and adding seven rebounds, five assists, and forcing three steals. Sophomore Lauren Lee contributed with six rebounds and Brianna Lollis went 2-for-5 from behind the three-point-line. At the conclusion of the Classic, both Daniels and Caranannte were named to the All-Classic team.
The first half did not begin to the Lions’ liking, as they faced an 11-2 deficit after the first five minutes of action. However, following a timeout, the Lions turned to their inside duo of Willonda Windham and Daniels who connected on six consecutive points to cut the lead to one, 14-13 with 10:49 to play. Both team continued to trade baskets until the 9:10 mark when the Lions went on a 9-2 run to gain a 21-19 advantage thanks to the inside dominance of Daniels and perimeter shooting of Lollis.
Having swung the pace of the game in the Lions’ favor, Saint Leo finished out the final five minutes playing consistent basketball, despite trailing by one, 28-27, heading into the locker room.
Out of the break, Clemmons connected on a pair of three-point baskets to keep the game tie at 36 apiece. A series of lead changes, as well as a fierce defensive effort, dominated play for the next seven minutes. The exchange culminated with Daniels sinking the Lions’ first free throws of the game at the 6:19 mark to tie the contest one final time.
On the next possession, Carannante connected on a three-point basket with 5:29 remaining to give Saint Leo the momentum and lead for good. From there, Clemmons connected on five straight points to extend the Lions’ led to eight before icing the contest with six consecutive free throws and securing the nine-point victory. The Lions are now winners of three of their last four games.
As a team, Saint Leo shot a season-best 90.9% (10-for-11) from the free throw line and shot 36.2% (21-for-58) from the field. SLU continued their pinpoint shooting from behind the three-point-line connecting on 7-of-17 shots (36.2%), forcing 22 turnovers and totaling nine steals.
After a week layoff, the Lions will prepare for their December 30th contest with Edward Waters. The scheduled tip-off for the non-conference tilt is set for 6:00 p.m. EST in Jacksonville, Fla. on the campus of Edward Waters.