February 20, 2014

Lions Receive First-Ever South Region Ranking at 7th

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Wednesday marked another piece of history in the record books for the Saint Leo women's basketball team, as the Lions received a regional ranking of number 7. The ranking signaled the first time in school history that the Lions have had a place in the NCAA Division II South Region rankings.

After a historic year that has already seen the Lions break the program record for wins in a single season, the Saint Leo squad is not done yet.

Just hours after the Lions received the news of their historic regional ranking, they took home a pivotal 76-63 Sunshine State Conference victory over the Florida Southern Moccasins to improve to 16-7 on the season and 7-6 in conference play. The win tied the Lions' single season record for conference wins, which came at the hands of head Coach Nikki Jessee and her 2012-13 squad.

In addition, the victory featured a program record 34-36 made free throw baskets.

"Our goal from the beginning of the year was to make the NCAA tournament," said head coach Nikki Jessee. "It's still very early and there is a lot of basketball left to be played, but we're happy we are making progress and slowly achieving our goals through hard work.  It's been an exciting year in our program, and we hope to keep improving and getting better each game.  Right now we are focused on Lynn and being 1-0 after that game. Our strategy is to play one game at a time without looking past any team."

Their 13-6 regional record puts the Lions at seventh in the regional ranking, behind SSC teams such as No. 6 Nova Southeastern (1), No. 14 Rollins (2), and Tampa (3), who is currently receiving votes in the national poll. In addition, No. 18 Delta State (4), Albany State (5), and West Florida (6), stand ahead of the Lions.

The women's basketball team hopes to continue their success on Saturday, February 22 when they host the visiting Lynn University Fighting Knights. Tipoff for the contest is set for 2:00 p.m. in the Marion Bowman Activities Center.

For more on the Saint Leo women's basketball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter and Instagram.