Sailfish Cannot Hold On as Saint Leo Takes One in Overtime

Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

The Sailfish women's basketball team was unable to hold on in the second half of Saturday's game at St. Leo as the Lions stole one in overtime by a final 65-59 score. Photo Courtesy of: Lori RichardsThe Sailfish women's basketball team was unable to hold on in the second half of Saturday's game at St. Leo as the Lions stole one in overtime by a final 65-59 score. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards

Box Score

SAINT LEO, Fla.- After an exciting contest that ended positively for the Sailfish in the waning seconds of Wednesday night’s game against Barry, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team looked to ride the victory wave all the way up to Saint Leo University (9-9) on Saturday afternoon. Taking on their second Sunshine State Conference opponent in three days, the Fish were unable to hang on to a double digit lead, resulting in an overtime 65-59 loss to the host Lions.

The opening minutes saw both teams struggling offensively, with PBA staying in reach thanks to nine straight points at the hands of junior guard Hayley Fields. When the Fish finally took over at the 14:02 mark, they led the majority of the first half, but by no more than a couple of possessions at any given time.

SLU knotted the score at 24-24 with two minutes remaining in the first half after a pair of Chelsea Williams free throws, but a steal and fastbreak lay-in by junior Loren Wilkins gave PBA the two-point lead heading into halftime.

Neither team posted solid first half percentages as the Sailfish registered high honors with 10-29 shooting for a 34 FG%, as compared to a 29 FG% for the Lions off of 7-24 shooting. PBA held Saint Leo scoreless from beyond the perimeter, while registering 4-10 from long range, but the SLU hung around by connecting on 10 of their 15 trips to the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes.

Fields finished the opening half leading all scorers with 11 points and 4-7 shooting, registering 50% from beyond the arc. Williams and teammate Chelsea Connelly posted six points each for SLU with Williams earning most of her points at the foul line.

The Lions opened up the second half with a short six point swing, taking their final lead of regulation before the Fish took over. Once junior guard Jordan Kong capitalized on a layup in the 15:30 mark, the Sailfish rattled off 10 straight points in the following six minutes to post their largest lead of the game at 11 points.

Saint Leo chipped away at the double-digit Fish advantage, getting within one point at the six minute mark, just before PBA pushed its lead back to seven with 3:30 left to play. Forcing Sailfish turnovers and connecting on high percentage shots, the Lions closed out the game with six straight points from the foul line, just missing stealing one away from the Fish in regulation when Jamarra Robinson missed her second foul shot.

The game would be decided in five minutes of overtime, but the Lions entered the extra period with the momentum swing from the end of the second half. It was all St. Leo from start to finish as they outscored the Blue and White 13-7 to take one from the Fish in extra minutes.

Once again, the Lions registered lower shooting numbers than the Fish in the second half, but they made a game total of 32 trips to the foul line compared to only 13 times for the Sailfish.

SLU recorded three of its players in double figures, with Lauren Lee stepping up largely in the second half as she finished 7-13 for 21 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. She was joined by fellow teammates Williams and Connelly who finished with 14 and 12 points respectively.

 The Sailfish were paced by Fields who finished with 14 points on 5-9 shooting, including 4-8 from three-point range. Just missing out on her seventh double-double of the season was junior Selethia Jackson who collected 11 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals to go with her eight points. Also making a large impact off the bench for the Blue and White was Ashley Dolberry who posted a well-rounded performance consisting of eight points, 12 rebounds, and five assists in 31 minutes of action.

The Sailfish (3-17) will return to West Palm Beach before taking on their third straight SSC team in Eckerd College next Wednesday, January 26. PBA will look to return the favor to the Tritons who bettered the Fish in an earlier season matchup in Saint Petersburg. Those two teams will battle it out in the Rubin Arena at 5 pm for that mid-week contest.

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