SAINT LEO, Fla. – A career and a remarkable performance by sophomore Asia Royster was the story of the night as the Saint Leo women's basketball team took down the Lynn Fighting Knights, 66-61, to earn their second-straight Sunshine State Conference win.
Royster, who scored back-to-back career highs of 14 points against Florida Southern and Barry, continued to feel the rhythm of the game as she dropped a new career-high of 28 points against Lynn. She did so on 54.2-percent shooting from the floor, hitting 13 shots. She also added nine rebounds, four steals, two blocks and an assist. Royster did all this while also having to guard Lynn's best player, Paula Vasquez, who went just six of 16 from the floor.
Final Score: Saint Leo takes down Lynn, 66-61 Location: Marion Bowman Activities Center | Saint Leo, Fla. Records: Saint Leo 7-14, 2-11 SSC | Lynn 10-11, 4-9 SSC
How It Happened
1Q |Asia Royster, who's been hot as of late, opened the game with the first four points for the Lions. Saint Leo used multiple 'And-1' opportunities to take advantage of Lynn's high foul count. However, Lynn was able to capitalize on a three-minute drought by the Lions and continued to pound the cross-screen in the post. Izabell Skoogh, who checked-in in the final minute, hit a quarter-closing jumper to extend the Lions' lead. | Saint Leo 18-15
2Q | After hitting the opening bucket, Lynn went 0-for-6 on their following shot selection, and Saint Leo was able to extend their lead to nine points and forced Lynn's head coach to call a timeout with 6:48 left in the quarter. Lynn's drought continued for over four minutes until the 4:37 mark, and they were able to connect on a basket. Saint Leo wasn't able to find a basket themselves as they went scoreless for over four minutes themselves, forcing the Lions to call a timeout. A lone free throw by Nikira Hooks ending the drought. A jumper by Skoogh was followed by a Skoogh steal to keep Lynn off the scoreboard. | Saint Leo 31-25
3Q | Royster opened the third the same way she opened the game, on fire. The guard scored the Lions first six points to surpass a new career-high. Her play was aided by the Lions' second triple of the gam|e by Ragen Dotson. However, Lynn opened the quarter outscoring Saint Leo 13 to nine to cut the gap to just two points before Saint Leo had to call a timeout. At 2:11, Lynn was able to tie the game at 40. Saint Leo was unable to score for a three-minute stance before Royster gave the Lions the lead back at 30 seconds on the clock. With a strong defensive effort, Saint Leo got the ball back with 12.3 on the clock. | Saint Leo 42-40
4Q | A three-pointer by Lynn's best shooter, Paola Vazquez, gave the Fighting Knights their first lead in a while, but a Royster lay-up gave the lead back to the Lions. With both teams trading three's, Saint Leo remained in the lead. Royster continued to find the bottom of the basket, and Hooks also added a spark for the Lions, scoring seven points in the fourth. Vazquez continued to keep the Fighting Knights in the game, hitting her second three of the period. Saint Leo was able to keep the pressure and continued to force the Fighting Knights to foul to keep their lead. | Saint Leo 66-61.
Saint Leo forced the Fighting Knights into 21 turnovers.
Saint Leo has now surpassed their win total from 2015-16 in both the regular season as well as conference play.
Coach's Quote "Our defense has been incredibly better over the past couple weeks, and I'm very proud of their commitment to defend and play harder." Asia Royster was playing on another planet tonight and has excelled since entering the starting lineup. I'm more proud of her development off the court as a woman and leader but tonight was her night."
"Our bench was the difference in the end with a commitment to defense, rebounding and scoring. Last time we played Lynn, our bench scored a single point, but not tonight!"
"Madelin Lang has been so steady; running our system and leading our defense. She has a huge burden on her shoulders and is growing more and more each night out there. We need to get better each day, growing as leaders, and teammates while working to reach new levels on and off the court. To see how far we have come and so fast amazes me. I'm one proud coach. It was a great overall job by these ladies."
Next Saint Leo hosts Florida Tech in a 5:30 p.m. battle at the Marion Bowman Activities Center on Saturday, Feb. 11.
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