MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women’s basketball team (6-1, 0-1 SSC) opened their Sunshine State Conference schedule with a 64-54 loss to the Barry University Buccaneers. It is the first loss for the Lions during the 2008-09 season.
The first half was marred by turnovers and foul trouble by both teams, with the Lions and Bucs struggling for offensive momentum. The teams combined for only ten points during the first five minutes, while Saint Leo was only able to muster seven points the first 10 minutes.
Soon after, each team began to find their offensive groove. The Buccaneers used solid inside play to balloon their lead to 14 with less than six minutes to go, but the Lions battled back to cut the lead to 11 before the break. Dominique Daniels and Lauren Lee were the catalyst to the late run, each scoring six points apiece.
The Lions committed 13 turnovers compared to 14 for Barry and shot only 30 percent from the field. The Lions did not take advantage of the opponents turnovers though, scoring only six points while Barry doubled Saint Leo's output.
Saint Leo refused to go away, scoring the first six points of out of the locker room to cut the Bucs’ lead to five. Barry quickly put a halt to the Lions’ run and pushed the lead back up to 11 before Monique Reynard hit a three-point basket to cut the Bucs' advantage back to eight. SLU used the next five minutes to slowly grind away at the Barry lead, as it dwindled down to four points with eight minutes to go.
A Barry three-point basket gave all momentum back to the Bucs’ and, despite a valiant attempt by Saint Leo in the late stages, the ten point deficit was too large to overcome.
The Buccaneers struggled from the line during the second half, but hit two vtial free throws and recovered a loose ball off a missed Bucs' free throw in the final two minutes to ice the game.
Lee led the Lions with 13 points (4-for-11) and Daniels collected a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Melissa Guerero added ten points and Reynard contributed eight points.
Each team committed 22 turnovers, but the Lions managed to shoot only 32 percent from the floor.
The Lions take a break from SSC action when they travel to St. Augustine, Fla. to take on the Flagler Saints. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 5:00 pm.