SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women’s basketball team (13-12, 6-8 SSC) has now dropped four games in a row and nine of their last 12 contests.  The squad will look to change their fortunes this Wednesday, however, when they travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. to take on the Eckerd Tritons.

Lions Last Contest…
In their last game, the Lions fell victim to the Rollins Tars last Saturday by the score of 67-53 from the Marion Bowman Activities Center. Saint Leo began the contest developing an 8-5 lead. However, Rollins broke out on a 12-2 run over the next eight minutes, obtaining a lead they never relinquished. The Lions did their best to stay with the Tars, cutting the lead back to two later in the half. But a pair of 11-2 and 12-2, second half runs sealed the deal for Rollins as they cruised to a 14-point victory. The loss dropped SLU to 6-8 in the SSC.  Sierra Williams posted a team-best 11 points and Lauren Lee accumulated nine points to go along with five boards. Dominique Daniels and Brianna Lollis registered eight points apiece, while Daniels amassed a game-best six rebounds. Willonda Windham chipped in six points and led all SLU players with four assists.

Series Overview…
Since the 2006-07 season, the Lions are 3-5 against the Tritons. In both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, the Lions were able to capture at least one win from the season series. However, the Lions look to return the favor of a season sweep, as Eckerd took both contests last year. The two schools also played each other three times in 2006-07, as they were matched up in the Sunshine State Conference opening round game in which Eckerd was victorious.

Last Meeting…
The Lions and Tritons last met on January 20th on this season. In the contest, the Lions earned a hard-fought, 60-58 victory. SLU overcame a 16-point second half advantage on the efforts of an 11-0 run in the late stages of the game. The squad put the brakes on the Tritons’ offense outscoring them 34-23 in the second half. The Lions’ defensive aggressiveness allowed them to get back into the game offensively, as the SLU used a Clemmons three-point basket and a pair of steals to pull ahead of Eckerd at the end. The Lions iced the game with four-consecutive free throws by  Brittany Carannante. Clemmons collected 19 points while shooting 7-for-17 from the field and Daniels locked-up her seventh double-double of the year, posting 10 points and tying a season-best 15 rebounds. Willonda Windham poured in 11 points and eight rebounds, while Carannante chipped in 11 points, six rebounds, and a team-high four steals. For Eckerd, Ashley Lutz posted a game-best 21 points in the losing cause, while Tijana Brdar and Taylor Young scored nine and eight points apiece. The team shot 40 percent from the floor and hit on 8-of-24 three pointers.

The Lions find themselves losers of four-straight game and nine of their last 12 games. Over the past 12 games the Lions are being outscored by their opponents by nearly nine points-per-game (68.2-to-59.3). The team has been out-rebounded by 50 and trails in the turnover margin. Opponents are also shooting 41.7 percent from the floor. Saint Leo is doing a solid job from the line shooting 72.4 percent, have blocked 28 shots, and picked-up 94 steals. The Tritons are also losers of three of their last 10 games, and come into Wednesday’s contest on a two game losing streak.

About Saint Leo…
Continuing to lead the charge for the Lions is Daniels. She leads the squad in points (12.7 ppg.) and rebounds (8.7), while boasting the highest free throw percentage of any team member (78.7%).  Windham is also contributing with her double-figure average (11.5 ppg.), all while hauling in 7.2 rpg. Clemmons is posting a 10.2 ppg. average and leads the team in three-point field goal percentage at 35.8 percent (29-for-81). Carannante continues to post solid numbers across the board, averaging 8.1 ppg. and 3.5 rpg., while leading the team in steals with 55 and blocks with 20. She also is shooting 34.7 percent (34-for-98) from behind the arc. Sierra Williams’ point total continues to climb, rising to 7.7 ppg. Lauren Lee and Lollis continue to add depth to a strong Lions’ bench. Lee is third on the team in rebounding at 4.4 rpg. and Lollis  has connected on 28 three-point baskets. As a team, the Lions struggles continue in the first half where they are being outscored by nearly 60. The squad is averaging 64.5 ppg., have amassed over 1,000 rebounds, and are posting better numbers than their opponents in both three-point field goal percentage (35%) and the free-throw makes (67.3%)

Coach Olds’ Keys to Success…
“We need to be able to play a full 40 minutes. We can’t afford to play only half a game.” She continued by stating, “It is crucial that we do the little things properly and continue to play our brand of basketball. We need to rebound, not turn the ball over, and convert shots; it’s as simple as that.”

SSC Tournament Chances...
The women enter Wednesday contest in sixth-place with a record on 6-8. The Lions have two games remaining in their 09-10 SSC schedule. With a pair of victories, SLU can finish at .500 in the conference and can be seeded either 5th, 6th, or 7th. Tonight's match-up with the ninth-placed Tritons will provide a better understanding of possible seeding, as will a prime time game between fourth-place Barry and fifth-place Lynn.

Probable Starters…Saint Leo

Dominique Daniels12.78.778.7% FT's (96-of-122)
Willonda Windham11.57.246.3 FG% 
Gekeela Clemmons10.23.635.8 (3-pt fg%)
Brittany Carannante8.13.555 Stl's, 20 Blk's
Sierra Williams7.73.838 Assists

About Eckerd…
The Tritons enter Wednesday’s contest at 9-14 overall and 3-11 in the conference. Eckerd is also 2-5 in conference home stands this season, and have built up a 6-6 total mark in the McArthur Center. The Tritons also find themselves stumbling in the second half’s of games, as they have been outscored by 46 points.

Lutz is the leading scorer for Eckerd, boasting a 14.3 ppg. average. She leads the team in steals with 41 and assists with 75. Kati Rausberg is the second of three Tritons in double-figures averaging 11.2 points-per-game. She is firing up three-pointers at a 43.4 percent clip and owns the third-best field percentage at 47.7 percent. Tijana Brdar rounds out the Tritons double-figure scorers at 10.1 ppg. She is shooting 53 percent from the field and leads the team with 48 blocks. Jordan Stacey leads the team in rebounds with 7.2 rpg. and Taylor Young is second on the team with 27 steals.

Probable Starters…Eckerd

#10 Ashley Lutz14.34.275 Assists, 41 Stl's
#14 Kati Rausberg11.24.047.7 FG% (94-for-197)
#15 Tijana Brdar10.14.548 Blk's, 61 Assists
#22 Taylor Young8.93.927 Stl's, 41.4 FG% (70-for-169)
#12 Stacey Jordan7.67.213 Blk's