SAINT LEO, Fla. – Despite donning their pink uniforms in honor of Play 4 Kay day, the Saint Leo Lions fell to the visiting Tampa Spartans by a 76-63 score, Wednesday night from the Marion Bowman Center. The Sunshine State Conference loss pushed the Lions to 6-6 in conference play.
Both teams came out hot in the first half, but it wasn't long before the visiting Spartans gained some offensive momentum and surged ahead. Despite the Lions' defensive and offensive efforts, the Spartans shot 18-32 (56 percent) from the field in the first half, walking into the locker room at halftime with a 42-26 lead.
The Lions came out in the second period fighting for victory, but it was Tampa who took home the win to sweep Saint Leo in regular season Sunshine State Conference play. Despite the loss, the Lions shot 26-58 (49 percent) from the field in the second half.
It was senior Teresa Manigrasso who led the Lions offensively in the contest, amassing 23 points and playing nearly the entire game. Senior forward Chelsea Williams followed her lead, contributing with 12 points.
As a team, the squad collected 19 assists in the effort, forcing eight Tampa turnovers and collecting four steals. In addition, the Lions shot 26-58 (45 percent) from the field and 5-7 from the free throw line in the loss.
Defensively, Saint Leo pulled down 32 rebounds, led by junior Melissa Jackson, who recorded seven.
The Lions squad will return to action on Wednesday, February 19 at Florida Southern College. Tipoff for the Sunshine State Conference contest is set for 5:30 p.m.
For more on the Saint Leo women's basketball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' Saint Leo Athletics on Twitter and Instagram!