Women's basketball announces 2016-17 schedule

Women's basketball announces 2016-17 schedule

2016-17 Saint Leo Women's Basketball Schedule

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's basketball team and head coach Anthony Crocitto are excited to announce the 2016-17 schedule.

"We are excited for our first game already, and it is only Sept. 13," said Crocitto. "My staff is committed daily to growing this program and the overall performance within it.  We believe we will prove to be competitive throughout the entire 2016-17 campaign and cannot wait to begin consistent practices on Oct. 15.  Our ladies have shown a tremendous work ethic and commitment early on, and we expect this to build day by day, week by week, month by month."

The Lions open with games versus Lee and Shorter in the Sunshine State/Gulf Coast Conference Challenge on Nov. 11 and 12. The game versus Lee will be held in Lakeland, Fla., at Florida Southern, while the Lions will host the second game of the Challenge.

Saint Leo then turns right around to open up SSC play at Florida Southern on Nov. 16.

"We open this season with three very talented opponents in Lee, Shorter, and Florida Southern.  These games will truly test us in many ways, from basketball execution to mental toughness and everything in-between.  We are excited to have a few home games early on as this should help our confidence while playing at home is always more comfortable for players and coaches."

November will then be closed out with two non-conference match-ups, hosting both NAIA foe Florida Memorial and future SSC opponent Embry-Riddle. Florida Memorial will come to the Marion Bowman Activities Center on Nov. 19, while ERAU makes their way on Nov. 30.

The Lions will continue their homestand in the month of December with an SSC match-up with Barry on Dec. 3, and they follow it up with a game against NAIA member Ava Maria on Dec. 6.

They then head into the holiday break with three-straight road games, heading to Eckerd first on Dec. 10. The Lions then head to the Lynn Classic in Boca Raton, Fla., where they will take on Benedict and Miles on Dec. 17 and 18, respectively. Benedict finished the 2015-16 season as No. 14 in the final DII rankings.

The Lions, who finished ninth in the SSC in 2015-16, will look to make a jump in 2016-17 as they head into the bulk of conference play.

Saint Leo returns home to close out 2016 versus Palm Beach Atlantic on Dec. 30, while also opening up the New Year at home with Nova Southeastern, who finished 2015-16 as the No. 21 team in the nation, on Jan. 4.

The Lions then head down I-275 for a match-up with Tampa on Jan. 7, before making the trek back to Boca Raton to take on Lynn on Jan. 11.

On Jan. 14, Saint Leo will return home to take on Rollins, before hitting the road to take on Florida Tech and Embry-Riddle on Jan. 18 and 21, respectively.

The Lions will close out January by hosting Tampa on Jan. 28, and will remain at home to open February, as they host Florida Southern on Feb. 1.

They then hit the road for Miami Shores when they take on Barry on Feb. 8.

Then follows a two-game homestand as the Lions host both Lynn and Florida Tech on Feb. 8 and 11, respectively.

On Feb. 15, the Lions head to Palm Beach Atlantic, and they continue their road trip at Nova Southeastern on Feb. 18.

Saint Leo's final home game will be on Feb. 22 as they host Eckerd in a mid-week match-up.

The last game of the regular season will be at Rollins on Feb. 25 before the Sunshine State Conference tournament takes place over March 2-5.

"I am excited to play new teams, develop new scouting reports, see new talent, and meet new coaches," Crocitto stated as he enters his first season of SSC play. "I loved every ounce of the East Coast Conference, but it will be fun and challenging to begin again in new venues against fresh competition.  One thing I have learned fast in studying the SSC is that you must bring your 'A' game every night in this league.  This league is athletic, talented and well-coached from top to bottom."

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo women's basketball be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.