SAINT LEO, Fla. – Despite falling in their last five games, the Saint Leo women’s basketball team (13-13, 6-9 SSC), is looking to improve their seeding as a conference showdown with Barry University looms.
Last Time Out…
The Lions had their losing streak pushed to five consecutive games with when they dropped a 69-56 decision to Eckerd College, last Wednesday from the McArthur Center. The Lions trailed from the beginning as the Tritons sprinted out to a 10-0 lead. Eckerd’s offense continued to press opening a 20-to-7 advantage. Brittany Carannante kept the Lions in the race, as her three-point shooting helped guide a 13-2 runs over the final five minutes of the half to close the gap to three. Unfortunately, an 11-0 rally out of the second half gate out SLU in a hole they could not escape from. The Tritons strung together another 7-0 spurt helping them earn the 13-point win. In the game, Brittany Carannante poured in a game-best team-best 17 points. Dominique Daniels posted 14 points and a game-best 13 boards, while Lauren Lee contributed with nine points and seven rebounds, Sierra Williams dropped in nine points and added a team-high three assists.
The Lions and Buccaneers are set to meet for the second time this year. Currently, Saint Leo trails the all-time series 31-14, including a 59-57 loss to the Bucs back in January. Since 2006-07, the Lions are 1-6 against Barry with their last victory coming in 61-60 thriller back on January 31st of 2009.
Back in January, the Lions and Bucs met in Miami Shores, Fla. The contest was a tale of two half’s, but in the end it was the Buccaneers claiming a two-point, 59-57 win over Saint Leo. Dominique Daniels led all Saint Leo players with 19 points and seven rebounds. Outside of Daniels’ 19-point outing, Carannante scored nine points and went 2-for-5 from behind the three-point line. Brianna Lollis also made her mark from behind the three-point area, scoring nine points on 3-of-7 shooting. Willonda Windham amassed six points, while freshman Melissa Schmidt chipped in five points. Sierra Williams also grabbed six rebounds, while Gekeela Clemmons and Kiara Bradley three assists apiece. The Lions early 10-7 lead gave way to a Barry 23-7 run. The Lions, however, remained resilient trimming the lead down to eight with 9:42 left in regulation. As the Lions’ defense continued to suffocate Bucs, Saint Leo used an 8-1 run over the final five minutes to cut the lead to three points. Still, Barry maintained its composure connecting on clutch free throw attempts down the stretch to tip the scale in favor of the Bucs. Mariesa Greene dropped in a team-high 20 points and added 10 rebounds.
The Lions come in having dropped five consecutive games and 10 of their last 13. Saint Leo is being outscored by their opponents on the season 64.2-to-66.8 and has a -33 rebounding margin to their opponents. During their five game losing streak, the Lions are averaging just 56.8 ppg. and are allowing opponents to score a tick over 75 ppg. And although the Lions have done a much better job protecting the ball, their perimeter defense has allowed opponents to shoot 39 percent from the three-point line. Opponents are also shooting nearly 40 percent from the field and are being outrebounded 214-177. After winning five-straight games, the Buccaneers have dropped three-of-four contests coming into Saturday’s game.
About Saint Leo…
The Lions are currently tied with Florida Tech for sixth-place in the SSC and a victory in Saturday's senior day contest will solidify their spot in the tournament. Daniels is both the leading scorer and leading rebounder on the team, posting 12.8 and 8.9 averages. She is also the best free throw shooter on the team, connecting on 98-of-125 shots. Windham is posting 11.0 ppg. and is the team's second leading rebounder grabbing 7.1 rpg. Gekeela Clemmons is posting 9.9 ppg. connecting on 29-of-83 three-point field goals. Aside from her 8.4 ppg. average, Carannante leads the team with 57 steals and 21 blocks. Sierra Williams is averaging 7.7 points-per-contest and Lauren Lee and Brianna Lollis are posting 5.6 and 5.0 ppg. The squad is averaging 64.2 ppg. and have amassed 1,051 rebounds on the year.
Coach Olds’ Keys to Success…
“We need to able to play 40 minutes.” She continued, “We need to be able to maintain our composure and stay controlled when facing a challenge. If we give 100 percent and do the little things correctly we will be successful.”
Probable Starters…Saint Leo
|Dominique Daniels||12.8||8.9||78.4% FT's (98-for-125)|
|Willonda Windham||11.0||7.1||45.3 FG%|
|Gekeela Clemmons||9.9||3.5||34.9 (3-pt fg%)|
|Brittany Carannante||8.4||3.5||57 Steals, 21 Blocks|
|Sierra Williams||7.7||3.8||41 Assists|
Despite havinf dropped three of their last four, the Buccaneers enter the game 18-8 on the season and 9-6 in the SSC. They currently stand with the No. 3 seed in upcoming SSC Tournament beginning on March 3. Mariesa Greene is the leading scorer for the Bucs, averaging 19.1 ppg. She is also averaging 10.8 rebounds per game and posting a team-high 33 blocks. Shanna Suttington has amassed a 9.7 ppg. average, while leading the team in assists with 82. Christina Thompson and Tilde Ahlin are averaging 7.1 and 7.2 ppg., respectively. As a team, Barry is averaging just a shade less than 60 ppg. and is out-rebounding its opponents by 30. The Bucs are also outscoring their opponents 824-to-713 in the second half of games.
|Christina Thompson||7.1||4.0||42 Steals, 20 Blk's|
|Mariesa Greene||19.1||10.8||33 Blocks, 39 Steals|
|Tilde Ahlin||7.2||4.0||17 Stl's|
|Shanna Suttington||9.6||2.6||83.1 FT%, 82 Assists|
|Tara O'Malley||2.2||1.3||24 Stl's|