LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women’s basketball team (7-3) fell to the Millersville University Marauders (7-1) in the second day of the Florida Southern Classic by the final score 55-44, Thursday evening from the Jenkins Field House in Lakeland, Fla.
The Lions struggled to find their game in the first half, as the balanced attack of the Marauders kept the Lions on their heels for the majority of the first 20 minutes.
Millersville used a 16-1 run to start the game putting the Lions in a hole that was too deep to overcome, handing SLU their first back to back losses of the season.
Nichole Tyler tried to provide a spark off the bench for SLU scoring three consecutive baskets upon her arrival into the game. The effort worked momentarily as the Lions cut the lead down to seven. But, Millersville answered the Lions’ challenge with run of their own pushing the advantage back into double digits before a Tyler lay-up cut the lead to nine at the break.
The Lions showed signs of life in the second half with Marquita Fenn’s emergence off the bench. Her addition to the line-up put the Lions on a run that shrank the Marauder lead down to five. But the Lions never broke that five point barrier that Millerville held for the majority of the game. The opponents repelled every rally set forth by the Lions, eventually expanding the lead back to 15.
Marauders’ inside due of Jenna Craig and Gladine St. Juliene combined for 30 points and 26 rebounds. On the Lions side, Tyler (4-for-9) and the three point shooting Natalie Gaudreau (3-for-4) had nine points apiece while Fenn (3-for-5) finished with eight points and six rebounds, all in the second half.
The Lions were outrebounded 39-to-44 and managed only to shoot 32 percent (16-for-50) from the floor and 3-for-15 (20%) from behind the three-point arc.
The Lions don’t take to the floor again until 2009 when they open up conference play from the Marion Bowman Activities Center against Rollins College. The game is set to be played on January 3 with a 2:00 pm tip-off.