SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women’s basketball team is in the midst of a two-game losing streak having dropped an SSC contest to Tampa and a non-conference game to the Blazers of Valdosta State.
Against the Blazers, the Lions struggled to find the basket. Although three Saint Leo players scored in double-figures, the team only shot 30 percent from the floor. Leading the group was Gekeela Clemmons as she posted a game-high 17 points. Dominique Daniels registered in double-digits for the 19th time in 23 outings and Lauren Lee also contributed with her second 10-point outing of 2010. Lee also compiled a game-best seven boards for the Green & Gold and tied for the team lead in assists with two.
The back-to-back losses have dropped Saint Leo to 13-10 on the season. Fortunately, the Lions remain in the middle of the pack in the conference at 6-6 and are currently on pace for a spot in the SSC Tournament. Still, the Lions are left with multiple tough challenges in conference as the tournament nears. Saint Leo has four games left in 2009-10, all of which are against SSC opponents. With that said, the Lions begin the four-game trek on Wednesday when they travel to Lakeland, Fla. to take on the Florida Southern College Moccasins from the Jenkins Field House.
The Moccasins enter play with a 17-7 overall record and a 7-6 conference mark. They currently stand fourth in the SSC. The Mocs have upended the Lions three consecutive times, including a last second defeat of Saint Leo at the Bowman Center in mid January. Florida Southern currently leads the overall series 64-6 and is looking to sweep the Lions for the second straight season. SLU did have recent success against their rival, however, having swept FSC in 2007-08. In fact, between the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons the Lions had defeated the Mocs three out of four times.
The Lions look to use some of that magic in their next meeting as they look to get above .500 in the SSC.
About Saint Leo….
The Lions continue to be led by the inside pair of Daniels and Willonda Windham. Daniels leads all players at 13.3 ppg. and stands 10th in the SSC in scoring. The Columbus, Ohio native is also doing the job on the boards, ranking 40th in the nation at 9.2 rpg. Windham is second in scoring, bucketing 11.7 ppg. and is also the second leading rebounder at 7.3 rpg. Clemmons rounds out the double-digit trio at 10.7 ppg. while burying 27 three-point field goals. Brittany Carannante has also been a key contributor for Saint Leo, posting an 8.6 ppg. scoring average. The transfer is also the team leader in steals with 51 and blocks with 20. She is being pushed by senior Sierra Williams as she is totaling 7.2 ppg. and chipping in with 34 assists and 26 steals.
Brianna Lollis has hit 26 three-pointers off the bench for the Lions, while Lee is shooting 33 percent from the floor in 20 appearances.
As a team the Lions are shooting 38.7 percent from the field and are being outscored 65.2-to-66.1. The Lions continue to own the second half of their games. Unfortunately, slow starts have doomed SLU on multiple occasions. In total, the Lions are being outscored by 58 points in the first half. The team has connected on 100 three-point field goals and 67.4 percent of their free throws.
In the last game against the Mocs, SLU fell victim to a lay-up with no time remaining on the clock to fall by two, 78-76. Four Lions scored in double figures including Windham, who posted a game-best 20 points for Saint Leo. She cleaned up in the rebounding department, as well, collecting 13 boards for a double-double. Daniels also posted a double-double dropping in 18 points to go along with her 10 rebounds. Carannante made a dent in the scoreboard with her 18 points, while Williams pitched in 11 points. Saint Leo was hurt in the turnover category though, as they surrendered the ball over to the Mocs 28 times. That number overshadowed the fact that SLU out-rebounded their opponents 49-to-35 and hit on 14-of-15 free throws. Saint Leo outshot FSC 46.8-to-38.5 percent from the field and connected on 4-of-9 shots from behind the three-point line.
Coach Olds’ Keys to Success…
“We need to press on the offensive end right from the beginning. We can’t afford to get down early. We need to be able to hit the shots that are given to us, protect the basketball, impose our will on the boards, and make them play our brand of basketball.”
Player PPG RPG Specialty F, #50, Dominique Daniels 13.3 9.2 78.0% FT's (92-for-118), 10 Blk's C, #13, Willonda Windham 11.7 7.3 45.4 FG%, 10 Blk's G, #3 Kiara Bradley 1.1 1.3 12 Stl's G, #9, Brittany Carannante 8.6 3.6 51 Stl's, 20 Blk's G, #24, Sierra Williams 7.2 3.9 34 Assists 26 Stl's
About Florida Southern…
Florida Southern is once again a contender in the SSC. Led by Chelsea Johnson and her 18.5 ppg. and team-leading 43 steals, the Mocs are primed for competition in the conference tournament. However, it is not just Johnson on the scoring end that is causing havoc for other teams. Three other Mocs are in double-figures, as well. Michaela Hawley is pouring in 17.8 ppg., hauling in 7.0 rpg and leads the team in blocks with 27. Megan Dzikas is averaging 14.0 ppg. and leads the team with 103 assists, while Nicolle DiRaimo is doing her part by chipping in 10.5 ppg. and rebounding at a 7.0 rpg. clip. The next closest point scorer is Tanja Speaker, who is averaging 5.2 ppg. in 24 starts.
As a team, the Mocs are outscoring their opponents 78.3-to-70.7 and are connecting on 34.6 percent of their three-point field attempts. However, FSC is letting opponents shoot 42 percent against them. The team has turned the ball over just 354 times and is one rebound shy of 1,000 for the season. They have forced 220 steals and are hitting 74 percent (370-for-499) of their free throws.
In their last game against Saint Leo, the Mocs used a flare for the dramatic with a last second lay-up to push FSC to a two-point win over the Green & Gold. In the game, both Johnson and Hawley poured in 28 and 22 points, respectively. Dzikas pumped in 10 points, including the game-winning basket, while Speaker bucketed eight points. Hawley and Speaker grabbed seven rebound a piece and the team hit on 10-of-13 free throws.
|G, #1 Chelsea Johnson||18.5||3.9||43 Stl's, 80.6% FT's (75-for-93), 45.8 3-PT FG%|
|F, #33 Micheala Hawley||17.8||7.0||27 Blk's, 31 Stl's, 48.0 FG%|
|G, #13, Megan Dzikas||14.0||4.1||43 Stl's, 103 Assists|
|F, #43, Nicolle DiRaimo||10.5||7.0||27 Stl's, 16 Blk's, 79.7 FT% (51-for-64)|
|F, #11, Tanja Speaker||4.5||4.8||36 Stl's, 75.0 FT% (36-for-48)|