MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – The No. 6-seeded Saint Leo women’s basketball team (13-15) had their 2009-10 season come to end, as they fell to the No. 3-seeded Barry Buccaneers (20-10) 68-51, Wednesday evening from Health and Sports Center in the first round of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield SSC Tournament.
A trio of seniors led the charge for Saint Leo, as they spent their final game in a Lions’ jersey fighting from behind the majority of the contest. Willonda Windham tied Dominique Daniels with a team-best 14 points, while the duo combined for nine rebounds. Sierra Williams played solidly, recording eight points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. Meanwhile, Brittany Carannante chipped in six points and forced two steals.
As a team, the Lions shot 30.6 percent (19-for-62) from the field and made only 2-of-12 three-pointers. The squad also struggled at the line, connecting on 11-of-20 free throws. The game saw the two teams provide an equal amount of rebounds with 39, while committing only 20 combined turnovers.
Barry immediately put the Lions in a deficit, as they used the opening seconds to splash down their first of eight three-pointers. The lead never changeg hands, as Barry led wire-to-wire and advanced to the semifinals with the 17-point win.
Lauren Lee and Kiara Bradley provided the early offense for the Green & Gold, keeping the squad within striking distance. However, a Bucs three-pointer extended the lead to five with 17:15 to play, pushing it to eight three minutes later. Still, SLU refused to quit as Windham collapsed on the low block a helped cut the lead to two, 14-12, with 12:16 left in the first.
Unfortunately at the 11:09 mark, the Lions secured a their last field goal for the next 10 minutes as Barry used the remainder of the half to go on an 18-1 run and take a 21-point advantage at the halftime break.
Coming out of the intermission with a 38-17 lead, Barry swelled the advantage to as much as 28 points with 11:00 minutes left in regulation. And, despite Windham and Daniels beginning to attack the lane, the Bucs kept a running margin of 22 for the remainder of the contest. One late surge by the Green & Gold cut the final margin of victory from 23 to 17, as Williams’ shooting skills and Gekeela Clemmons ‘ free throw stroke lessened the blow in the final minutes.
The Lions closed the campaign by dropping seven consecutive games. The team also sends off four seniors, as Dominique Daniels, Sierra Williams, Monique Reynard, and Willonda Windham dawned the jersey one last time.