Teresa Manigrasso pours in a career high 34 points
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women's basketball team took advantage of a career-high 34 point effort from Teresa Manigrasso, and pulled away with a 70-57 win over Lynn University in the first round of the Sunshine State Conference basketball tournament Wednesday afternoon. The win improves the Lions to 19-8, while the Fighting Knights end the season at 11-16.
In addition to Manigrasso, who was 12-of-19 from the field, 5-of-9 from behind the three-point arc and 5-of-5 from the free throw line, Chelsea Williams also finished the game in double figures with 11 points. Keishara Green added nine points and 10 rebounds, and Chelsea Connelly grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Saint Leo jumped out to quick 9-2 lead just under four minutes into the game when Williams scored on a layup off the first of Chachi Guzman's eight assists on the afternoon.
Lynn, however, would go on its own run scoring seven straight points to take a two point advantage, 11-9, with 11:26 left in the half on a three-point shot by Isidora Madzarevic.
Both teams would go back and forth for nearly the next four minutes before Williams tied the game for the fourth time, at 20-all, with a layup off a Connelly assist, with 7:11 left in the half. Manigrasso then started to find her shooting stroke scoring nine of her 16 first half points, and nine of the Lions final 17 points of the first stanza, to give Saint Leo a 35-29 lead heading into the locker room at the break.
The Fighting Knights, however, would not go quietly opening the second half on a 16-5 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 45-40, on two free throws by Shantorria Baker with 14:28 left in the game.
Manigrasso would then take over; once again, scoring 15 points during a 24-5 run that put the game out of reach. Her final field goal during that stretch, giving the Lions a 66-50 advantage with 4:33 left in the contest brought her just two points shy of tying the school single game scoring record of 36 set by September Harrison on January 3, 2004 against Webber.
The Lions shot 46.7 percent (28-60) from the field on the afternoon, including an impressive 52 percent (13-25) in the second half. Saint Leo controlled the paint in the win 28-14.
The Lions will face the winner of the Barry vs. Florida Tech game on Friday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Spurs Arena.
For more on the Saint Leo University women's basketball team visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also be sure 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'follow' the Lions on Twitter and Instagram.