SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women's basketball team (2-1) opened its 2012-13 home season with a 72-39 victory over the University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon (0-1), Friday evening from the Marion Bowman Activities. The Lions notched 40 points in the paint and 21 second chance points as Saint Leo notched the first win of the Saint Leo Invitational.
Individually, after nearly collecting a double-double from junior Chelsea Connelly in the first half, Connelly propelled herself to a game-high 16 rebounds, while adding a team-best 17 points for her second double-double of the year. Aiding in the Lions effort was a first double-double of the year junior Chelsea Williams with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Teresa Manigrasso chipped in an additional 16 points.
In a tightly contested first half, the Lions darted out to a 13-6 behind the offensive prowess of Connelly. Still, after seeing the lead cut to two, 13-11, with 12:17 to play in the half, the Lions went on an 8-0 win highlighted by back-to-back three pointers from Kinara Lewis and Manigrasso.
Eventually owning a half-high 13-point lead, 29-16, with 3:12 to play in the half, the Lions cruised into the halftime break up 31-20.
After connecting on a three-point basket to open the half, Bayamon could only score only six additional points over the next 10 minutes against a stingy Lions' defense.
In the meantime, the Lions exploded for 21 points over that period to gain a 26-point, 52-26, lead. Connelly, Williams, and Christina Granville combined for 14 points over the game-deciding stretch.
Saint Leo kept the running 20-point margin over the remaining 10 minutes before closing the game on a 7-0 run to uphold the 33-point win.
For the game the Lions shot a 40.8 percent (29-for-71) from the floor, while converting 23 points off of 18 Bayamon turnovers.
For more on the women's basketball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com.
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This postgame recap is brought to you by Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant. Located in Brooksville, Fla., you can contact Papa Joe's at 352-799-3904 for dine in or catering needs.