January 25, 2014
SF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Gainesville, FL – The Santa Fe Saints trailed by as many as 14 points midway through the second half on Saturday afternoon against rivals College of Central Florida, but a late rally by SF forced overtime and an eventual Saints victory.
“Our girls showed a lot of heart today,” said SF Coach Chanda Stebbins. “I’m proud of how they kept fighting and never gave up.”
Stephanie Ball kept Santa Fe (8-13, 3-3 MFC) in the game in the first half, nailing four three pointers to keep it within four at halftime. The Patriots (10-12, 1-5 MFC) had a chance to open things up in the first half when they built a 10 point lead with three minutes to play but Stephanie Ball and Areana Davis combined for seven points over the final two minutes to make it a 40-36 game at the break. The Saints kept it within four despite 15 first half turnovers.
“We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball and it really hurt us,” said Stebbins. “We did a much better job in the second half of being patient and making better passes.”
In the second half Central Florida came out of the gates on an 18-8 run and built up their biggest lead of the game at 58-44. Santa Fe stayed calm and slowly chipped away, cutting it all the way to two at 75-73 with 21 seconds remaining. Tori Baggett hit three threes to help lead the comeback and Davis scored 10 points over the final 8:30 to help the cause.
Trailing by two with 21 seconds left, Coach Chanda Stebbins drew up a play for Jocelyn Mousty and it worked perfectly as she released from the high post and a perfect pass led her right into a game tying layup with 8.5 seconds left. The Saints clamped down on defense on the ensuing possession to force overtime.
Santa Fe scored the first five points of overtime but just like in regulation, the game swung back around and Central Florida scored the next five to knot it up at 80 with 1:18 left. Just when it appeared it may go to double overtime, the Saints scored four straight points to hold on for the win.
Tori Baggett led SF with 20 points, Areana Davis had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Stephanie Ball had 18.
The Saints will travel to Daytona State College to take on the Falcons on Wednesday, January 29 at 6:00 PM.