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Sunday, Oct 22, 2017
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Lions looking to snap skids before SSC tournaments

ST. LEO - The Saint Leo men's and women's basketball teams have one final chance to enter their respective Sunshine State Conference Tournaments with some momentum. The men (11-18, 4-11 SSC) have lost three in a row, while the women (13-13, 6-9) have dropped five straight. Both could improve their seeding by winning their games today against Barry in the Bowman Center (women at 2 p.m., men at 4). The men are currently in a tie for seventh with Florida Tech, whom they beat twice this year. But if they lose, they are in danger of falling into last (and out of the tournament completely) as Tampa, whom they've lost to twice, is at 4-12 already. The women are tied for sixth with Florida Tech but hold the tiebreaker, having swept the season series.
Both the men's and women's teams lost to the Barry in the first meetings in Miami Shores. Wednesday, both Lions' squads were dealt disappointing defeats at the hands of Eckerd, putting them in this position. The women lost 69-56, shooting just 31 percent. The starting five scored just 20 points, but Brittany Carannante and Dominique Daniels combined to score 31 off the bench. The men lost 72-60, unable to dig out of a 39-26 halftime hole. Jeremy Jackson came off the bench to lead Saint Leo with 16 points. Jordan Prais added 15. The Sunshine State Conference basketball tournaments begin Wednesday with the higher-seeded teams hosting the first-round games. The tournament shifts to Nova Southeastern University in Boca Raton next Saturday. LACROSSE HAT TRICK? The No. 8 lacrosse team has opened the season 2-0, with wins against Rollins and Wingate (in the Deep South Conference opener) and looked to make it 3-0 at Queens University on Friday in a game not complete by press time. Joe Guerin and Frank Keel have both scored six goals to lead the team after two games. Guerin had five against Rollins, while Keel tallied three against Wingate. TAR IT UP: The baseball team (4-7) began SSC play Friday night with the first in a three-game series against Rollins. The game was not complete by press time. Today's doubleheader starts at 3 p.m. at Southard Stadium on campus. The Lions fell to nationally ranked Tampa 13-5 on Wednesday and have lost four of five entering this series. Ryan Brnovich and Ryan Powers have emerged as the Lions' top hitters, with Brnovich hitting .378 with 10 runs scored, and Powers hitting .368 with 12 RBIs. SOFTBALL STRUGGLES: Though coming off a 5-4, extra-inning victory against Eckerd, the softball team (4-8) has lost six of its last eight entering a pair of weekend doubleheaders. Friday the Lions were scheduled to play Lewis twice, beginning at 5. Sunday they are set to play Dominican College at 4 p.m. The SSC schedule opens at Eckerd on Tuesday.

Bart O'Connell can be reached at tampasport@gmail.com.

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