SAINT LEO, Fla. – Thanks to a pair of double-doubles by Willonda Windham and Dominique Daniels, and a balanced offensive attack, the Saint Leo women’s basketball team (12-7, 5-4 SSC), upended the Nova Southeastern Sharks (9-11, 2-7 SSC) 80-69, in double overtime at the Bowman Center Saturday afternoon. The win completes a two-game sweep of NSU on the season.
In the Sunshine State Conference tilt, Windham exploded for a game-best 23 points and amassed 11 rebounds in her sixth double-double effort of the year. Daniels was not to be outdone as she poured in 19 points and was a monster in the rebound department tying a season-high with 15 boards. It marks her eight double-double of the season. Sierra Williams had a well-rounded effort scoring 15 points, dishing-out four assist, and picking up seven rebounds. Brittany Carannante rounded-out the Lions group of double-figure scorers, adding 10 points to go along with a game-high five assists. Gekeela Clemmons chipped in eight points and three rebounds.
As a team, the Lions shoot 41.1 percent (30-for-73) from the floor and out-rebounded the Sharks, 55-46. Saint Leo also did its job at the line converting 17-of-23 shots, while out-blocking the NSU 4-to-1.
The Lions took to the floor looking to snap their two-game losing streak. Unfortunately, Saint Leo struggled in the early moments of the contest. Slow starts have been a problem as of late and facing a 15-6 deficit with 9:00 to play in the half didn’t improve spirits. However, this Lions team didn’t wait until the second half to fight back. Williams led a 6-0 run to cut the lead back to six, 15-12, with 6:33 remaining. The Sharks withstood the run and eventually crept the lead back to eight, 25-17, going into the break.
The two teams spent the first four minutes of the half exchanging points. But Clemmons hit on a layup with 16:32 left to send the Lions on a 14-6 run, eventually earning them the lead. Daniels led the charge scoring half of those points and Clemmons used her second bucket of the rally to give SLU a 39-37 edge. Brianna Lollis connected on a three-point basket moments later to give Saint Leo their largest lead of the half, five points. NSU tied the game briefly at 49 with 3:53 to play, but the inside duo of Windham and Daniels quickly reinstated a five-point lead with 2:14 remaining. It was the final time SLU scored though as Nova Southeastern spent the final two minutes chipping away at the advantage and eventually tying it at 54 with 34 seconds to play.
Heading into the overtime period, NSU used their momentum to gain a 60-57 lead with 2:19 to play. Windham did not falter though as she dropped in four consecutive points to push Saint Leo to a four-point lead with 30 seconds left on the clock. The Lions could not hold it though and NSU bucketed a layup with 14 seconds left to force a second OT.
With the score tied at 63, the Lions locked down on the defensive side of the ball and could not be stopped on the offensive end. SLU immediately grabbed a four-point lead in the first 1:20 of the period. Soon after, Carannante connected on a clutch three-point shot and Clemmons sent in a layup to extend the Lions lead to 72-65. Superb free throw shooting iced the game for the Lions as a trio of player stroked six shots to seal the 80-69 victory.
The Lions continue SSC play on Wednesday, February 3rd from Lynn University. Tip-off for the event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.