LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's basketball team fell in their season opener to Lee University, 93-65, on Friday afternoon in a neutral site game on the campus of Florida Southern. The game was part of the 2016 Sunshine State/Gulf South Conference Challenge.
It was not quite the opening game Head Coach Anthony Crocitto was hoping for in his first game at the helm of the Lions, as the team could not shake a cold-shooting performance despite hitting 10 three's on a 40-percent clip, as they hit just 32.3-percent of all shots taken. They hit only 10 shots inside the arch on the day.
Saint Leo saw senior Chelsy Springs, the 2015-16 SSC Newcomer of the Year and All-SSC selection, pick up where she left off, as she tallied a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds. While sophomore Asia Royster tallied a career-high 12 points.
Final Score: Saint Leo falls to Lee, 93-65 Location: Jenkins Field House | Lakeland, Fla. Records: Saint Leo 0-1 | Lee 1-0
How It Happened
1Q | The Lions, started cold from the floor, connecting on just one of their first seven shots, but free throws helped keep the Lions within striking distance. Asia Royster led in the period with five points, while Chelsy Springs added. After missing her first five shots of the game, Gina Brierley closed the period with a three. | LU 21-15
2Q | Royster continued her hot shooting, hitting her second three and adding a two, to bring the game within five points early in the second. However, Lee responded three possessions that resulted in three-point field goals for the Flames, and they brought the lead back out to 12. Brierley hit her second three of the game, and the score was within seven points with 1:30 on the clock. Again the Lions got the chance at the last shot of the period, and Springs stepped up and nailed the three. | LU 41-32
3Q |Mary Redmond opened the third quarter with her first three of the season, but Lee outscored the Lions 13-5 over the first three minutes of the half. Springs jumped into offensive action, doubling her score from the first half in the third quarter alone. She tallied 10 for the teams 15 points in the quarter. The Lions only hit four shots in the quarter and added six points from the free throw line. | LU 69-47 The
4Q | The Lions hit four three-point field goals in the fourth, and Lee hit just one, but that difference was not enough as the Flames out-rebounded Saint Leo, 16-6 and tallied 13 second-chance points in the period. Kamryn Kimmel led the Lions in the fourth with five points, while Madelin Lang dished out four assists. The size of the Flames also hurt the Lions as they scored 12 of their 24 points in the paint. | LU 93-65.
Beyond the Box
Asia Royster scored a career-high 12 points, all of which came in the first half.
Every Lion that suited up saw playing time, and four of the newcomers recorded at least a point.
Saint Leo dished out 19 assists and forced Lee into 16 turnovers.
The Lions hit 10 three-point field goals, while Lee only hit eight.
Lee did most of their damage on the inside, tallying 48 points in the paint, and 29 second-chance points.
Springs finished the game with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Lee's Carrie Cheeks led all scorers and rebounders with 23 points and 16 rebounds.
Coach's Quotes "We played one half of basketball and we need to find a way tomorrow to play better for four quarters. That 13-0 run early in the third quarter set the tone for the rest of the game. However, I was proud of the fight, but our execution was inconsistent. Too many missed layups and unforced turnovers.We need more passing and more team play across the board. Asia and Chelsy were brilliant at times, but understand they need to play 40 minutes at the same level and not in spurts. Lee is a very strong program and one that will compete for a championship this year. You have to give them credit as they did what they had to do."
Saint Leo hosts Shorter on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. in their home opener and the second game of the SSC/GSC Challenge.
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