SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's basketball team fell on Saturday afternoon to Sunshine State Conference opponent Eckerd, 78-67, in the McArthur Center in St. Petersburg.
The Lions saw freshman Gina Brierley put on a shooting display as she was a perfect eight for eight from the floor, adding five free throws as well. Senior Chelsy Springs continued her strong play, registering her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Izabell Skoogh found her shooting stroke, scoring 11 points with two threes.
Eckerd scored 30 points beyond the arc on Saturday, shooting an impressive 52.6-percent from deep, a full percent point higher than their shooting percentage from the field.
Final Score: Saint Leo falls to Eckerd, 78-67 Location: McArthur Center | Saint Petersburg, Fla. Records: Saint Leo 3-5, 0-3 | Eckerd 7-2, 4-0
How It Happened
1Q | Both teams opened up the match hot, connecting on all six of the first shots of the period. Eckerd then went on a seven-point run, but back-to-back three-point plays by Asia Royster and Chelsy Springs cut the Tritons lead to 19-15. From there solid defense from the Lions kept the hosts at bay. | EC 19-15
2Q | Eckerd opened on a 5-0 run before a drive by Gina Brierley sent the freshman to the free throw line where she connected on both her attempts. A beautiful assist by Gabby Ortiz found Nikira Hooks cutting to the basket for the score, and Ortiz followed it up with a fast-break lay-up of her own to cut the Tritons lead to just three points, 24-21. In a quick change of events, Eckerd went on a 7-0 run in under a minute, to extend their led to 31-21. The Lions were held scoreless for 3:26, before Madelin Lang broke the scoreless period, and it was followed by a huge three from Izabell Skoogh. | EC 38-28
3Q | The third period saw both teams trading baskets, bringing the gap under and back over 10 points like a yo-yo. Brierley continued to grind, scoring seven points in the third alone despite being mauled by the hosts. Eckerd shot 60-percent in the third, adding eight free throws as well spread the gap. | EC 60-46
4Q | Eckerd continued to hit their threes, knocking in two more to open the period. However, Springs became the third Lion in double figures after hitting a three to bring the gap to 68-56. Springs finished the quarter with 7 points and three rebounds to complete the game with her first double-double of the season. Brierley also continued to contribute for the Lions, sinking three more shots and adding a free throw. Despite their efforts and strong defense, Saint Leo was unable to close the gap. | EC 78-67
Beyond the Box
Brierley's 22 points mark a season-high for the freshman, and she is the fourth Lion to break 20 points. She joins Springs, Mary Redmond, and Ragen Dotson.
Springs is the first Lion to record a double-double this season. Springs record seven double-doubles in 2015-16.
For the second-straight game, the Lions connected on better than 75-percent of their free throw attempts. Against Ave Maria, they hit 77.8-percent, and against Eckerd, they hit 76.5-percent. Those were the only two games on the young season where they have done so.
Coach's Quotes "We can't keep giving away possessions with unforced turnovers or easy missed scoring opportunities. We have to finish and or get to the foul line for one. And secondly, we need to take care of the ball at all times. I was proud of our bench and overall effort. This is a very good Eckerd team and we fought for 40 minutes today, but they were better than us. Our stat lines indicate that we are a good team that is doing a lot of very good things on the floor. We need to put it all together consistently. Gina Brierley was awesome today on both ends of the floor and continues to work every day in becoming a better player and teammate. Chelsy Springs battled foul trouble but gave us a solid double-double and continues to attempt to carry us at times. Izzy Skoogh works hard and presses at times in practice, but today she rose and I know we can count on her in the future. We fight. We work. We believe. Together we will continue this journey and get better every day."
Up Next Saint Leo takes on Benedict College in Boca Raton, Fla. on Saturday, Dec. 17 in a 12 p.m. game at the Courtyard Holiday Classic at Lynn University.
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