PBA Rallies to Edge Saint Leo, 81-79

PBA Rallies to Edge Saint Leo, 81-79

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish (1-2) used an 11-2 run over the final 4:12 of the second half to escape with a 81-79 victory over the home-standing Saint Leo women's basketball team (3-2), Wednesday evening from the Marion Bowman Activities Center.

Highlighting the narrow defeat for the Lions was a career-best 25-point night from Teresa Manigrasso, as she went 6-of-8 from the three-point line. Chelsea Williams also notched her fifth consecutive double-figure scoring night as she bucketed 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Kinnara Lewis, Chelsea Connelly, and Keishara Green each scored nine points, while Connelly also led the team in rebounding with seven and assists with six.

In a first half which featured both teams shooting above 48 percent as well as 12 ties and eight lead changes, the Lions and Sailfish fought to gain control of the scoreboard. With 9:01 to play in the first half, PBA gained their largest lead of the game, 25-20, on Mallory Motycka's only basket of the game. However, strong perimeter play by Sarah Winans and Lewis kept the score with three, 44-41, going into the halftime break.

Holding a steady advantage over the course of the first five minutes of the second half, PBA soon saw its five-point lead disappear as the Lions, capped by an Elise Clyburn layup, regained a one point lead with 11:25 to play.

With Saint Leo, progressively increasing its lead to a game-high seven points, the Sailfish made one final push to get back into the contest. With 4:12 to play, Kristie Mason sank a three-pointer to pull PBA back to within four points. Another Sailfish three-pointer with one minute to play tied the game at 76 before four consecutive free throws by Lynsey Poole gave the visitors a lead they did not relinquish.

Still owning a shot at victory, the Lions couldn't connect on potential game-tying free throws during the final 20 seconds as PBA managed the two-point win.  

Overall, the Lions shot 44 percent (27-of-62) from the field and out-rebounded the Sailfish 37-34. The Sailfish, meanwhile, blistered the nets at 49 percent (30-of-61) shooting.

The 79 points scored by the Lions is the most points scored in a game since January 30, 2010.

Following the Thanksgiving break, Saint Leo will entertain Warner University in a non-conference showdown on Monday, November 26. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. from the Marion Bowman Activities Center.

For more on the women's basketball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter at Twitter.com/SaintLeoLions'. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook at Facebook.com/SaintLeoLions

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.