Lakeland, Fla. (February 21, 2007) – The Saint Leo women’s basketball team (6-20, 3-12 SSC) lost 71-64 to Florida Southern College (10-17, 5-10 SSC) in a Sunshine State Conference game Wednesday night.

Saint Leo was led by junior guard Roni Carithers (Tampa, Fla.) who scored 16 points, while Melissa Guerero (So., Trinidad & Tobago) pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.  However, Florida Southern forward Nicolle DiRaimo outshone everyone with a game-high 24 points and 10 boards.

The Mocs led throughout the first half, and pushed ahead to a lead of as many as 13 points in the opening frame.  Saint Leo closed to within three with 22-seconds left but a lay-up at the buzzer by FSC’s Victoria Vanacore gave the Mocs a five-point half-time lead.

The Lions started the second half with a spark, as they took their first lead of the night with 15:08 left to play.  However, they were unable to get in front by more than two points and after eight lead changes and three ties, the Mocs took the lead for good with 3:48 left on a three-point play by DiRaimo.

The loss means that Saint Leo will play in the opening round of the Sunshine State Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament against No. 9 seed Eckerd College on Wednesday, February 28 at 5:00 p.m.  The Lions will close out their regular season with trip to Boca Raton, Fla. on Saturday to face Lynn University.  Opening tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.