SAINT LEO, Fla. The Saint Leo University women’s basketball team (10-16, 2-14 SSC) dropped their final home Sunshine State Conference game against the Eckerd College Tritons (16-10, 9-6 SSC), 75-58 from the Bowman Center Wednesday night.
Seniors Marquita Fenn and Nichole Tyler each scored a game-high 15 points while combining to go 5-for-11 from behind the three point line. Senior Forward Sabrina Schmitt was second on the team in scoring chipping in eight points while Melissa Guerero was a force on the boards collecting nine rebounds. Whitley Washington with her two assists on the night, passed Latasha Johnson for third all-time in assists during a single season. Washington now has 133 assists on this year’s campaign.
The Lions played a good first half, allowing the Tritons to shoot just 30 percent during the first 20 minutes of action. The Lions on the offensive end buried four three pointers while hitting on 34 percent of their shots from the floor (13-for-38) and matched the inside play of Eckerd point-for-point.
Back-to-back three point baskets by Tyler and Washington culminated a 12-3 run during the final six and half minutes, putting SLU on top of the Tritons by a basket heading into the locker room.
The second half wasn’t as kind to the Lions as they were outscored 46-27, including a 17 point effort by the Tritons Javier Novion.
But before Eckerd could go on their run, SLU used the first five minutes of the period to increase their lead to six behind the efforts of Fenn and Schmitt.
But with 12:06 remaining, the Tritons gained their first advantage of the second half and over the next five minutes increased their lead to ten.
SLU attempted to cut into Eckerd’s lead but was unable to make any serious maneuvers to get back into the game.
The lead eventually swelled to 17 with 2:24 remaining and that’s the margin the Tritons took back to St. Petersburg, as they secured their eight conference victory.
Saint Leo shot a steady 33 percent from the field (22-of-67) but were unable to overcome the 54 percent shooting (13-of-24) from the Tritons in the second half . Turnovers eventually proved to be the difference as the Lions gave the ball over 24 times resulting in 28 points for Eckerd. The Lions were able to outrebounded the Tritons but were couldn' t overcome the points in the paint as they were outscored 28-18.
Saint Leo returns to the home court one final time this 2008-2009 season, as they wrap up action against Palm Beach Atlantic on senior day. The Lions will honor their four seniors, Melissa Guerero, Marquita Fenn, Nichole Tyler and Sabrina Schmitt, Saturday, February 28 right before the 2:00 pm tip-off. Make sure to make it to the Bowman Center to send off the seniors with a one more victory.