LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo women’s basketball team (13-11, 6-7 SSC) fell for the third consecutive time Wednesday evening, dropping an 81-61 decision to the Florida Southern College Moccasins (18-7, 8-6 SSC), from the Jenkins Field House in Sunshine State Conference play.
The Lions were led by senior Sierra Williams, as she posted a team-high 16 points and totaled four rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Willonda Windham also had a solid contest bucketing 13 points and grabbing a team-best nine boards. Gekeela Clemmons chipped in 10 points, while Lauren Lee was one point and one rebound shy of a double-double, ending the night with nine points and nine boards.
Saint Leo shot 38.7 percent (24-for-62) from the floor, including 2-of-9 from the three-point-line. The squad was out-rebounded 43-to-36 and committed 20 turnovers resulting in 33 Florida Southern points. The Mocs’ maneuvered their way around the paint, outscoring the Green & Gold 32-to-22. The Lions did have the advantage in bench scoring, however, shutting out FSC, 18-0.
The Lions appeared primed for another close contest with their rivals from Lakeland, as they took an early 16-6 advantage over the first six minutes of the contest. Williams and Windham combined for 10 of the Lions points over that stretch, using a physical inside attack and precision shooting from the perimeter.
Minutes later, the lead expanded to 12 points as a result of a Joanna Bussa layup. The Mocs had no answer for the Lions attack over the first 15 minutes, but a three-pointer by Chelsea John with 5:46 left to play sparked a 20-0 run by the Moccasins. The rally not only tied the game, but also allowed the home team to claim as much as a seven point advantage. Lee put a momentary stop to the bleeding by scoring the Lions first basket in nearly seven minutes. The team eventually trimmed the lead to five going into the halftime break.
Out of intermission, the Moccasins began to scorch the nets, starting the half on a 7-0 run. Holding a 44-32 lead, the Mocs opened the floodgates by going on their third run of the ballgame, a 14-3 sprint to take a 20-point advantage with 13:53 to play.
The lead never sunk below 20 points the rest of the way out. The Mocs’ offense continued to find ways to get to the basket, expanding their lead to as much as 29 with 6:45 left to play.
The Lions did use a 9-0 run in the final minutes of regulation to trim the lead to 20. Lee was the major contributor in the burst, racking up six of the nine points.
Unfortunately, the deficit proved too large to overcome as FSC their winning streak over the Lions to four-straight. For the Moccasins, Chelsea Johnson led all scorers with 25 points, her second 20+ point outing against SLU
The Lions continue conference action this Saturday, February 20 from the Bowman Center hardwood when they take on Rollins College. Tip-off for the event is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.