SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's basketball team (8-8, 3-3 SSC) came up short on Saturday afternoon, falling 74-62 to Florida Tech. After ending the first half on a 10-2 run to tie the game, the Lions were unable to carry that momentum into the second half. Florida Tech (11-4, 3-2 SSC), led by Kayk Wilson's 21-point night, was able to hit their free throws down the stretch to hold off the final effort from Nikki Jessee's squad.
Chelsea Williams scored 20 points on 9-10 shooting from the field, and came up just three rebounds shy of a double-double after pulling down seven. Teresa Manigrasso and Kinnara Lewis each added 11 points on the afternoon, and Chelsea Connelly continued to dominate the boards as she pulled down a game-leading 12 rebounds and blocked two shots.
After trailing Florida Tech for nearly the entire first half, the Lions finished the half on a 10-2 run that was topped off by Lewis' layup at the buzzer to tie the game at 30 going into the break. Lewis led the Lions in scoring in the first period with eight points. Connelly's second of two first half blocks led to the basket in transition that enabled the Lions to tie the game at 30.
In the second half the Panthers were able to take the lead and begin to expand on it, much due to Ida Gustafsson 15-point half. Florida Tech led by as many as 13 in the second period, but the Lions were never out of contention. Sarah Winans cut the lead to six when she knocked down one of her three three-pointers on the night. Connelly followed up on the next possession with a free throw to reduce the Florida Tech lead to 60-55—but the Lions could not get any closer from there.
The Panthers held a slight edge in shooting for the game—shooting 41 percent from the field compared to 39 percent for Saint Leo. The Lions outscored the Panthers in the paint, 30-24.
The Lions get back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 23 when they travel to St. Petersburg to take on the Eckerd College Tritons. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
For more information on the women's basketball team be sure to 'like' the Saint Leo Women's Basketball Facebook page!