TAMPA, Fla. –The Saint Leo women's basketball team (8-7, 3-2 SSC) knocked off No. 15 Tampa by a score of 64-44 from Bob Martinez Athletics Center on Wednesday evening. Behind a stellar performance from Teresa Manigrasso, the Lions built a huge lead in the first half and never took their foot off the pedal.
Manigrasso contributed a game-high 23 points for the Lions, as well as five assists and five rebounds. Keishara Green and Chelsea Williams both flirted with double-doubles, as Green scored nine points and added seven rebounds while Williams finished with seven points and seven rebounds. Chelsea Connelly once again had great night on the glass, this time grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out six assists.
The Lions came out playing with a purpose to start the game and quickly quieted the Tampa crowd after getting out to a 16-0 lead to start the game. Manigrasso was shooting the lights out the gym in the first half, as she 8-10 from the field and 3-4 from the behind the arc for 19 points to help the Lions enter the halftime break with a 40-15 lead. The Lions shot a remarkable 62 percent from the field in the first half, including going 8-10 from three-point range. The Lions defensive presence was felt as well, forcing 13 turnovers on six steals, and blocking six shots. Saint Leo also held Tampa to just 23 percent shooting in the first period.
In the second half Jessee's squad, knowing the game was far from over, came out with just as much intensity as the first half and continued to maintain a comfortable lead for the first 10 minutes of the half. After a Tampa run that cut the Saint Leo lead to 14 at 52-38, the Lions went on a rally of their own and got the lead back up 21 less than two minutes later. The Lions remained in control for the remainder of the game and cruised to their third SSC win.
For the game the Lions shot 45 percent from the field and 53 percent from behind the arc (7-14).
The win for the Lions marks the first time Saint Leo has won at Tampa since 2003.
The Saint Leo women's basketball team gets back in action on Saturday, Jan. 19 when they host the Florida Tech Panthers. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
For more information on the women's basketball team, be sure to check out the Saint Leo Women's Basketball Facebook here!