SAINT LEO, Fla. – Behind a team-leading 15 points from Chelsea Williams, the Saint Leo women's basketball team (1-0) upended the University of West Florida Argonauts (0-1), 63-56, in the 2011 regular season home-opener, Friday evening from the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
The non-conference showdown saw three Lions pour in double digit points, in addition to a team-best 12 rebounds from Keishara Green. Despite 24 turnovers, the Lions used superb shooting to outscore the Argonauts in each half.
The Lions jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead behind the inside play of Williams, as she connected on back-to-back layups. Still, West Florida found their offensive touch shortly after and soon grew a seven-point advantage, 26-19, with 3:53 to play in the opening session.
Kinnara Lewis' three-point basket seconds later spearheaded a 7-0 run by the Lions, tying the game at 26 with 2:02 to play. After allowing West Florida to regrow its lead to four, Saint Leo finished its opening 20 minutes with consecutive baskets, including a three-pointer by Asia Wilson with five seconds left to gain a 31-30 lead.
The second half saw the Lions pound the paint as 16 of their 32 second half points came from the lane. Saint Leo triggered the scoreboard repeatedly in the opening moments of the second period as they tallied 11 of the first 17 points to gain a seven-point, 42-35, lead.
Saint Leo refused to relinquish the lead over the remaining 16 minutes. West Florida chopped the lead to two, 44-42, with 9:03 to play, but a Shalisa Hill jumper ignited the Lions to a 9-2 run to solidify the game. Leading rebounder, Green, closed the Lions' victory out from the free throw line.
Hanna Vette led West Florida with 17 points and four rebounds.
For the game, the Lions shot 47.1 percent from the floor. Defensively, however, the Argos posted 16 steals. Still, it was the Lions who held the visiting Argonauts to just 13 free throw attempts for the game. Saint Leo also out-muscled the Argonauts, outscoring them in the paint, 32-20.
The Lions will return to the hardwood again on Saturday, November 19, when the Blazers of Valdosta State will enter the Bowman Center doors for a non-conference slate. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. For the latest news, information, and updates on the women's basketball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.