AMERICUS, Ga. – The Saint Leo women’s basketball team (5-2) dropped a physical, non-conference rematch with the Georgia Southwestern State University Hurricanes (5-4), 65-58, Saturday evening from the Storm Dome.

Leading the way for the Lions was Sierra Williams with 15 points (5-for-15). She was followed by 13-point effort (5-for-15) from Gekeela Clemmons. Dominique Daniels had a solid all around performance scoring nine points and tying for the team high in rebounds with 10. Willonda Windham was also a force on the boards bringing down 10 rebounds. Brittany Carannante chipped in nine points and collected a pair of blocks.

Saint Leo found it hard to find the basket in the early portions of the game as the Hurricanes jumped up to a 4-0 advantage. However, Carannante answered quickly with a pair of three-point baskets to tie the game at six.

It was as close as Saint Leo came to taking the lead as Georgia Southwestern used the next nine minutes to steadily increase their advantage to eight, 20-12, with 7:40 left to play in the first half.  Four minutes later the Lions found themselves down by a half-high 10 points. The deficit triggered a spark in the Lions’ brass though as the used a late 7-2 run to cut the advantage in half, 30-25, going into the break.

Georgia Southwestern pushed the offensive issue right out of the gate, using the first three minutes of the half to score the first nine points to gain a 39-25 lead.

But, reminiscent of last week against Nova Southeastern, a trio of Lions used the following three minutes to make cut the lead to six with 15:05 to play. The Southwestern lead remained steady over next nine minutes before Saint Leo made one final push.

With 8:17 to play, Lauren Lee connected on four straight points as part of a 7-1 to cut the lead to three with 5:06 to play. The Lions remained persistent slicing the lead down to one with 1:35 to go on a pair of Sierra Williams free throws. Unfortunately for the Lions contingent, a Southwestern three-point basket with under a minute to play solidified the lead as the comeback attempt fell just short.

As a team, the Lions shot 27.1 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from behind the three-point line. Saint Leo did manage to hit 19-of-28 (72.7 percent) free throws while outrebounding the Hurricanes 47-40 and out-blocking GSW, 5-3. 

The Lions will now prepare for a tough two-game swing at the Florida Southern College Classic on the 19th and 20th of next week. Up first are the challengers from North Georgia College & State University on Saturday, December 19th with tip-off scheduled for 12:00 p.m.