SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women’s basketball team (13-9, 6-6 SSC) fell 82-58, to Sunshine State Conference rival the University of Tampa (21-2, 11-1 SSC), Wednesday evening from the Bowman Center.
In the conference tilt, Willonda Windham led the team with 19 points and 12 rebounds, as she solidified her seventh double-double of the year. Forward Dominique Daniels also had another stellar outing posting 15 points, to go along with her 12 boards. The double-double has her tenth of the season. Junior guard Gekeela Clemmons was three rebounds shy of her first double-double scoring 14 points and collecting seven rebounds. However, production outside of those three was small. Brittany Carannante contributed five points, in addition to her game-high three assists and two steals.
As a team, the Lions were outshot 46.9 percent to 30.6 percent. The big difference, however, came in the three-point field goal department where Tampa, once again, lit the nets on fire hitting nearly 50 percent (10-for-21) of their shots. SLU equaled the Spartans in rebounds, but lost the turnover battle and the fight in the paint, 30-to-18.
The Lions came out of the locker room bent on not letting a repeat of their previous matchup this season happen again. And, in the early moments of the game, the Lions matched the Spartans point-for-point. The inside pair of Daniels and Windham scored the first six points of the game for the Lions and back-to-back three-pointers by Clemmons gave SLU a 12-9 lead with 12:31 to play. Soon though, Tampa found the hot hand and went on a 20-to-6 run to bust open a 30-18 lead with 4:52 remaining. The Spartans steadily increased their advantage over the final five minutes, going into the intermission up 40-23.
Out of the break, Windham and Daniels kept Saint Leo in the contest by converting its first six points of the half. Unfortunately, a Tampa 9-2 run midway through the second half put the Lions in a hole they could not get out of. Now facing a 60-33 deficit, the Lions did their best to get back into the contest. Carannante led a 7-0 charge to trim the lead to 20. In fact, from the 12:32 marker to the final buzzer, Saint Leo outscored the Spartans 25-23. Still, it was not enough as Tampa paced their running margin of 22 for the remainder of the game.
The Lions will return to the hardwood on Saturday, February 13th for a regional contest against Gulf South Conference opponent Valdosta State. The Lions fell in their first meeting with the Blazers by the score of… Tip off for the game is set for 2:00 p.m.
Saturday also marks the 2010 version of THINK PINK day. Think Pink is, “An initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities. Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach, served as the catalyst for the initiative after her third reoccurrence of breast cancer in 2006.” So come to the game wearing pink and help support this great cause.
Also Saturday, the women’s basketball team will be hosting the Inaugural Food Fest of Pasco County. In correlation with Think Pink, the Food Fest of Pasco will bring an array of foods, tastes, flavors, and cultures of Pasco County together on one amazing day in the heart of the county. This inaugural gathering on the beautiful campus of Saint Leo University is brought to you by Head Coach Chanita Olds as well as the SLU women’s basketball team and will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Price for entry is $10 for adults, 12 and under are free, university/college faculty/staff and students are $5.00.”
Get your Valentine’s Day weekend started on the right foot and help support these two great causes on Saturday.