Basketball teams roll
ST. LEO - The men's basketball team is off to a 4-2 start with four pre-holiday games left before the Sunshine State Conference schedule begins. Junior guards Trent Thomas (14.5 points per game) and Marcus Ruh (11.2) are leading the team in scoring, with five other players averaging at least eight. The biggest improvement has been in shooting, where this year's squad is shooting 50 percent from the field. Last year's team shot 43.2 percent. Defensively, Saint Leo is allowing opponents to shoot just 39.5 percent from the field, whereas the Lions last year allowed 43.7 percent shooting.The Lions are on a two-game winning streak, demolishing Trinity 118-50 last Saturday in their most recent outing. The 118 points is the most scored by a winning SLU team since beating Palm Beach Atlantic 125-84 on Nov. 20, 1984. Saint Leo hosts Valdosta State today at 4 p.m., a team it beat by 16 points at VSU last month. Even more impressive The women's basketball team is a perfect 5-0 heading into this weekend's game against Southeastern. The Lions have outscored three of their five opponents by double-digits and allowed none of them to score 60 points. Saint Leo is out-rebounding its foes by nearly 10 per game, led by Chelsea Williams and Chelsea Connelly, who combine for more than 15 per game. The result is opponents shooting a paltry 30.1 percent from the field and getting few second-chance opportunities. Similar to the men, the women's squad also features a balanced attack, with Williams leading the way at 13.2 points per game. Novotna 64th at Nationals Freshman Tereza Novotna finished 64th out of 186 runners in below-freezing conditions at the NCAA II Cross Country Championship before Thanksgiving. Her time was 23 minutes, three seconds. The weather in Spokane, Wash., was only 23 degrees when the runners went off. Novotna described the course as "tough", but was pleased with her performance. "I am proud of Tereza," coach Melissa Miller-Mangen said in a release. "The NCAA Championships are one of the most memorable events to participate in. She is already aiming for the 2012 championships to build upon this performance." Lions leftovers The men's swimming team is No. 11 in the latest Avidasports Division II rankings. The Lions have 12 individual results that are in the top 25 for all D-II race performances. Saint Leo is competing in a meet this weekend in Savannah, Ga. … Saint Leo and its ROARewards program were honored as one of the 10 best fan-friendly game environments among D-II schools. A national winner will be crowned at the 2012 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
Correspondent Bart O'Connell can be reached at email@example.com. He can be followed on Twitter @BartOTrib