Women’s Basketball in Conference Championships

On Feb. 25, both of the Saint Leo men’s and women’s basketball teams played their final game of the regular season. The Lions were not successful in the games that took place in Winter Park, Fla. as both the men and women lost in matches against Rollins College. While for the men, the loss marks the end of the season, the women will continue their campaign in the Sunshine State Conference Championships (SSC Championships).

Despite few remarkable performances on the men’s side, the Lions were not able to defeat their opponent in the Warden Arena. The Lions lost their game with a score 74 to 82 against Rollins College.

“It was a very disappointing season, but it’s part of basketball, it’s going to happen. It happens to the best teams in the country,” said Head Coach Vince Alexander, after the Lions’ final game of the year, according to saintleolions.com.

Since the Lions lost, they will not be able to continue their season and participate in the SSC Championships.

Nevertheless, the loss did not stop Senior Marcus Dewberry from having one of the best games of his collegiate career. During the game, Dewberry scored 37 points for the Lions, which is 2 points more than his previous career best.

Dewberry made a mark in the history of Saint Leo Basketball, as he finished his career with 524 points, which is the seventh best score on the University’s all-time career leaders list. Throughout his career as a Lion, the senior also directly assisted his teammates 406 times.

Senior Justin Satchell, was another Lions who was able to score a double during the game. Satchell’s 21 points increased his overall number of points scored for the Lions throughout his career to 975 points.  

Not only was the game the Lions’ last chance to present their abilities this season, but also it was the seniors’ last chance to represent Saint Leo University. With the season’s end, the team loses five players including Dewberry and Satchell, as well as Necdet Gurkan, Trail Pierce, and Elijah Blackman.

On the women’s side, the situation was very similar as the Lions lost their game with a score 61 to 74 against Rollins College, that was their 12th consecutive win of the season. Despite the loss, the women were able to advance to the SSC Championships quarterfinals, and they will be the seventh seed.

The Lions will take part in the championships for the first time since the season of 2014-2015. It is also the first SSC tournament for the team’s head coach, Anthony Crocito, who joined the Lions in May 2016, coming to Saint Leo from the New York Institute of Technology.

During the game, Chelsy Springs, senior, had one of the best performances of her career. Not only did she manage to earn her ninth double-digit score of the season, but it was also the highest score she has ever achieved in her collegiate career. The performance is remarkable as Springs’ 30 points stand for almost half of the Lions’ overall score.

“First, this was one of the best efforts I have coached in 22 years. Second, this was one of the best individual efforts I have coached in 22 years in Chelsy Springs,” said Crocito, according to saintleolions.com.

Asia Royster, sophomore, was another Lion who managed to score more than 10 points for the team. For Royster, it was the second time in her collegiate career where she scored a double.

The Lions come back to action on Mar. 1 to start their SSC tournament, and play against either Florida Southern or Rollins.

“We have more hills to climb, but we made the postseason, doubled the previous season’s wins and could have the 2016-17 scoring leader in the SSC. I’m proud to lead this program and like our chances, next week,” added Crocito, according to saintleolions.com.

During the SSC tournament in 2015, the team finished the tournament by losing to Nova Southeastern. A year earlier, the women were able to advance to the semifinals where the women lost against Tampa with a score 74-80.

Despite the loss, it was a historical season for the Lions as, for the first time in the University’s history, they managed to advance to the NCAA tournament.

In the upcoming SSC tournament, the Lions will try to repeat their success from 2013 when they advanced to the final round. It is possible that the women will play against the team that stopped the Lions from winning the tournament, Rollins College.

As the SSC tournament progresses, stay tuned to the Lions’ Pride Newspaper for more information about the Saint Leo women’s basketball team.

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