WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women’s basketball team will head into the Thanksgiving break an undefeated bunch as the Lions defeated Palm Beach Atlantic University 63-58 on the road on Tuesday evening.
The Lions (6-0) used a 41-30 second-half explosion to earn their sixth win of the season and rebound from a slow start to the game.
Held scoreless for the first few minutes of the contest, the Lions saw the host Sailfish go up 10-2 on the Green & Gold before Saint Leo began to match PBA (1-4) with baskets on every trip down the floor. Although the Lions did struggle in the opening period making their shots, only shooting 7-for-29 from the field, Saint Leo managed three 3-point baskets and were 5-of-6 from the free-throw line to held into the half down just 28-22.
This game’s defining moment came with 13:20 remaining in the second half. With the Lions down by five, Dominique Daniels made a turnaround jump-shot that seemed to spark SLU. The shots began raining in for Saint Leo as they went on a 15-0 run through a five-minute span. Once PBA’s Kristine Webb made a put-back layup with 8:50 to go, the Lions led 48-40.
Saint Leo would have a scoring drought at the end of the game to make things interesting for Lion fans, though. After going up by a game-high 11 points, Saint Leo’s offensive production would go ice-cold and Palm Beach Atlantic would go on an 8-0 to bring it to within three with two minutes left. That was when SLU senior Marquita Fenn stepped up to single-handedly keep PBA from cutting into the lead anymore. She managed two put-back layups in the final two minutes to help stitch up the win for the Lions.
Melissa Guerero led the Lions with 17 points, trailed closely by Fenn with 14. Daniels was also in double-figures with 11 points as the Lions shot 32 percent (22-for-68) from the field in the contest.
Defensively, Daniels and Lauren Lee tied for the team-high in rebounds with seven apiece.
The Lions will now take a Thanksgiving break to regroup and prepare for Sunshine State Conference play. Saint Leo will open up their conference schedule on the road in Miami Shores as they face Barry University on December 6th. Tip-off for the Saturday afternoon game is set for 2:00 p.m.