SAINT LEO, FL - Florida Southern College women's basketball used lockdown defense in the fourth quarter to help secure a 75-60 win over Saint Leo on Wednesday at the Marion Bowman Activities Center. The Moccasins (2-1, 1-0 SSC) won their fourth-straight Sunshine State Conference opener and defeated the Lions (1-2, 0-1) for the eight-straight time.
Florida Southern opens its home schedule on Saturday when it plays host to Palm Beach Atlantic at 5:30 p.m. at Jenkins Field House.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• The Moccasins raced out to an early 5-0 lead and would never trail in the game. Although Florida Southern gained the upper hand early on, Saint Leo would not go away quietly as the Lions battled back to tie things at 14-14. A layup from Jirah Ards at the buzzer would give FSC a 17-14 lead after the first quarter.
• In the second quarter, the Mocs were able to extend their lead to 28-19 thanks to a 7-0 run that was started when Jensen Blassage made a layup, drew a foul, and hit the ensuing free throw attempt. Saint Leo was able to chip away at the lead as Florida Southern went into a scoring drought, holding the Mocs scoreless for just under three minutes to pull within a single point (30-29). However, FSC would score seven points over the final two minutes of the first half to take a 37-31 lead into the locker room.
• The third quarter saw Florida Southern extend its lead to as many as 13 points (44-31) as the Moccasins held the Lions scoreless for the first 4:01 of the second half. But the Lions would rally back, outscoring the Moccasins 18-10 the rest of the way to cut the deficit to five points (54-49) at the end of the third.
• In the fourth quarter, Florida Southern held to just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting and connected on 52.9 percent (9-of-17) of its own shots. The Mocs scored 20 fourth-quarter points, 10 of which came from Camille Giardina, to seal the victory.
• Anja Fuchs-Robetin led all players with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Giardina finished with 21 points and five boards. Blassage scored 18 points and tallied three steals, and Ards added six points off the bench.
• Florida Southern shot 40.0 percent (28-of-70) from the floor while Saint Leo connected on 43.4 (23-of-53) of its shots. The Mocs finished with a 41-32 edge in rebounds and outscored the Lions 28-27 in the paint and 16-5 at the free-throw line. FSC forced 30 turnovers and finished with a 26-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 77-10 all-time against Saint Leo, including a 34-7 record when facing the Lions on the road. The victory marked the eighth-straight for the Mocs in the all-time series. The Moccasins also moved to 22-10 all-time in SSC openers, including 4-0 under head coach Betsy Harris.
• Fuchs-Robetin, who tallied four double-doubles in her previous two seasons, has already notched three double-doubles this season. Blassage increased her career scoring total to 984 points and is just 16 shy of becoming the 21st player in program history to score 1,000 points.
• The Moccasins open their home slate when they face Palm Beach Atlantic at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday before closing out the first month of the season with four-straight contests away from home, including two at the Eckerd Thanksgiving Classic.