November 3, 2013
SF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Gainesville, FL – The old adage free throws win or lose games was never more appropriate on Sunday afternoon at the Santa Fe Gym as the Saints (2-0) pulled out an 81-78 overtime victory over Miami Dade thanks to some very clutch work at the charity stripe. SF shot 83.3% (25-for-30) from the line on the night and a near perfect 17-for-18 in the second half and overtime periods. Miami Dade (1-1) on the other hand struggled, making just 17-of-37 attempts.
“We stress every day in practice how important free throws are,” said SF Coach Chanda Stebbins. “They a typically the difference in a close game and today we came out on top because we took the points that were given to us.”
The contest was close throughout but in the second half the Saints made a run and went ahead by as many as 13 midway through the period. Just when it appeared SF was going to pull away for the win, the Sharks rallied back with a 23-9 run to grab their first lead since the nine minute mark of the first half, 63-62 with 3:55 left to play.
The Sharks held the lead three times in the final minute, but each time Santa Fe found a way to score. Tori Baggett twice hit two free throws with the Saints down two and with just six second left, Jaquasha Sesler drove the lane and dropped a pass to Ifti Dunne on the left block for a layup to send it to overtime.
Miami Dade took the early overtime lead but it was short lived as the Saints took a 75-74 lead on a Tori Baggett three pointer and made six straight free throws to ice the win.
Santa Fe won despite turning the ball over 33 times and shot just 36.5% from the field. They held Miami Dade to 34% shooting and outrebounded the Sharks 67-50.
“We showed that even when we aren’t shooting well, there are other things you can do to stay in ballgames,” said Stebbins. “We boxed out very well, played great defense, didn’t give them a lot of second chance opportunities and pulled out a win against a tough team despite not having our best effort.”
Stephanie Ball led the way for SF with 22 points and 11 assists, Tori Baggett had 18 points and was 7-for-8 from the free throw line, Jaquasha Sesler had 16 points, and Jocelyn Mousty had eight points and a career high 19 rebounds. Areana Davis also had double figure rebound with 13. Miami Dade’s Jordyn Bond led all scorers with 29 points.