SAINT LEO, FL - Julia Jenike poured in 20 points and Florida Southern College women's basketball dominated Saint Leo, 76-55, on Wednesday evening at the Bowman Center to pick up its fourth-straight Sunshine State Conference victory. The No. 19 Moccasins (24-3, 17-2 SSC) led from start to finish and held the Lions (10-17, 5-14) to just nine points in the first quarter of a game that was never in doubt.
Anja Fuchs-Robetin (17) and Camille Giardina (12) also scored in double figures, while Mackenzie Steele tallied nine off the bench as Southern completed the season-sweep of Saint Leo on the same day that the Mocs moved into the top spot in the latest NCAA South Region rankings. Florida Southern will wrap up the regular season at home against Rollins on Saturday and will host a first-round SSC Tournament game on Wednesday, March 6. The time and opponent are yet to be determined.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 1st Quarter | Elsa Landberg got the Moccasins on the board first when she drilled a three at the 8:50 mark of the first half and Florida Southern never trailed. The Lions scored on their next possession to make it a one-point game, but it was all Mocs from there as Southern held Saint Leo without another bucket until the 2:01 mark of the opening period after building an 18-2 lead over the first eight minutes. Florida Southern led 21-9 after the first quarter and held the Lions to just 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from the floor.
- 2nd Quarter | The Mocs extended their lead to 28-9 in the opening two minutes of the second quarter by scoring the first seven points of the period. Saint Leo shot much better in the second quarter (42.9 percent), but Southern connected on 50.0 percent (6-of-12) of its shots and led 42-27 at the half.
- 3rd Quarter | Florida Southern led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter as it was able to take its foot off the pedal somewhat, scoring just 16 points to Saint Leo's 15. Fuchs-Robetin had seven points in the third, while Mercedez Claybrone had five.
- 4th Quarter | Dominant defense was the calling card for the Mocs in the fourth quarter as they limited the Lions to just 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Florida Southern scored 18 points in the quarter as Mackenzie Steele had five points in the fourth.
- As a team, Florida Southern shot 46.8 percent (22-of-47) and limited Saint Leo to 33.3 percent (17-of-51). The Moccasins outrebounded the Lions 35-31, outscored Saint Leo 29-17 in points off turnovers, and got 17 bench points compared to just one for the Lions. Southern never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 22 points with three minutes to play in the fourth.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 81-10 all-time against Saint Leo, including a 35-6 mark when facing the Lions on the road. The Moccasins have won 12 in a row in the series against Saint Leo, and have won each of the last nine by double digits.
- Giardina pushed her career scoring total to 1,780 points. She needs six more to move into sixth in school history in career scoring. Fuchs-Robetin now has 1,526 points. She now ranks eighth in school history in scoring.
- Earlier in the day, Florida Southern moved up to the No. 1 spot in the NCAA South Region Poll, which determines the host for the South Regional. Should the Moccasins win out, including the SSC Tournament, they will almost certainly host the South Regional for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign. Union slid to the No. 2 spot after falling to Lee last week, the second time this season that the Bulldogs have fallen to the Flames. Florida Southern defeated Lee (70-64) in the regular-season opener on Nov. 9.
- The NCAA South Regional will be held from March 15-18, and the host will be the team ranked in the No. 1 spot when the final regional rankings are released following the conclusion of conference tournament play.
- Florida Southern closes out the regular season at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday against Rollins. The Mocs will host a first-round SSC Tournament game on March 6 with a time and opponent yet to be determined. The semifinals and finals of this year's conference tournament will take place at Rick Case Arena on the campus of Nova Southeastern on March 9 and 10.