Lions Drop Double Overtime Contest to SSC foe Eckerd, 65-61

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's basketball team (7-18, 1-14) fell to the Eckerd College Tritons (14-10, 7-8), 65-61, in double overtime fashion, Wednesday evening in Sunshine State Conference action from the Marion Bowman Activities Center.  

Holding a seven point lead at the end of the first half, and a five-point lead with under a minute to play in regulation, the Lions could not maintain their advantage as Eckerd used an eight-point second overtime to steal the double overtime win.

The Lions posted three double-figure performances. Aside from Kannara Lewis' game-high 19, Christina Granville collected her second consecutive double-double and third of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Chelsea Connelly matched Granville's double-double effort as she bucketed 11 points and hauled in 11 boards. The performance was her fourth double-double of the season.

Facing a six-point, 16-10, deficit with 12:12 to play in the first half, the Lions went on a 12-2 run which was capped by a three-point basket by Elise Clyburn to claim a 22-18 lead. Allowing Eckerd to score only three points over the remaining five minutes, the Lions extended their eventual seven-point halftime lead behind back-to-back three's by Clyburn and Lewis.

In the second half, the Lions withstood an early Tritons' run as they cut the lead to one, 28-27, with 16:36 left. Lewis exploded for the next six Lions' points. In a half where Eckerd never led, the Lions kept a running margin of five overt the course of the game until Connelly sank her only three-point basket to give Saint Leo a six-point lead with 2:02 left. The 53-47 lead dwindled over the final two minutes as Eckerd went on a 7-1 run, eventually forcing overtime, tying the game on a three-shot foul with three second on the clock.

After matching only three points in the second overtime, the second overtime proved to be another offensive struggle. After Chelsea Williams connected on a free throw to put the Lions up 61-57, the Tritons did not allow Saint Leo another point over the course of the game. A one point game with under a minute to play, six straight points by Kati Rausberg gave the visitors the four-point victory.

"I'm proud of our girls," said Head Coach Nikki Jessee. "This group of seven plays hard and is very coachable.  I'm looking forward to Barry and building upon what we have started this season."

The Lions crashed the boards hard out-rebounding the Triton, 56-53. Eight of the Lions 19 shot makes came from behind the three-point line, while Eckerd led in second chance points (13), and points in the paint (34).

The Lions will return to action on Saturday, February 25, when they close-out the 2011-12 regular season in Miami Shores, Fla. against the Barry Buccaneers. The SSC showdown is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

For the latest news, information, and updates on the women's basketball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.