ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – In their last road trip of the regular season, the Saint Leo women's basketball team defeated the Eckerd College Tritons by a 72-65 score, Wednesday night. Senior Teresa Manigrasso led the way with a game-high 19 points in the victory.
The triumph solidified the Lions' fourth-place seeding for the Sunshine State Conference tournament; the highest seeding a Saint Leo women's basketball team has ever received.
The Tritons scored first in the contest, but it wouldn't be long before the Lions went on a run and took a 14-13 lead with 12 minutes to play in the period. After a few back and forth possessions, the Tritons forced back the lead with just under six minutes left in the half. A quick run by Saint Leo tied the score at 27-27 with nearly three minutes left, but Eckerd would head into halftime with a 37-30 score in their favor.
Coming out of the halftime period hungry for victory, both teams fought hard in the second half. It wasn't until six minutes remained on the scoreboard, however, that the Lions were able to tie the score on a made free throw from senior Chelsea Connelly. The following made free throw gave the Lions the lead, and the squad never looked back, forcing a 72-65 victory.
Manigrasso recorded 19 points in the contest to lead all scorers, but three other Lions earned double-digit scoring efforts in the win. Senior Keishara Green collected 15 points to follow Manigrasso's lead, while sophomore Chachi Guzman and senior Chelsea Williams registered 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Defensively, Connelly led all players with 12 rebounds, and Green was the only person on the court to earn a double-double, with 10 boards.
As a team, the Lions shot 26-56 (41 percent) from the field in the win, registering 22 of 27 (82 percent) free throws. The squad out-rebounded Eckerd 42 to 30.
In addition, Saint Leo earned 16 assists, collected five blocks and forcing 14 Tritons turnovers.
The Lions will wrap up their regular season on Saturday, March 1 when they host the No. 8 Nova Southeastern Sharks on senior day. Festivities will begin around 1:50p.m., with a 2:00p.m. tipoff to follow.
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.