The Santa Fe Saints (9-8, 1-0 MFC) withstood a rally from Hillsborough CC on Wednesday night to move to 1-0 in Mid-Florida Conference play, holding off the Hawks for a 77-70 win. SF led by as many as 17 in the first half, but saw it dwindle to just one in the third quarter after a 22-10 run to start the second half. The Saints never lost the lead and pulled away down the stretch thanks to clutch free throw shooting from Tatiyana Rock and Sonya Franklin, who combined to go 23-for-26 from the charity stripe.
SF jumped out to an 11 point lead after the first quarter at 22-11, and built slightly on that to lead by 13 at the break.
The Hawks (6-12, 0-1 MFC) made their noise in the third quarter, outscoring the Saints by eight to chip the lead down to five.
HCC was never able to capture the lead, and the clutch free throw shooting of the Saints in the final minutes finished off the seven point win.
Sonya Franklin finished with a double double, scoring 15 points to go with 10 rebounds, Tatiyana Rock had 16 points, Rayven Wade had 12 points and eight rebounds, Bri Roberts scored 11 points, and Evelina Avleeva had seven points, 13 rebounds, and four steals.
The Saints will head out on the road for their second MFC game on Saturday against Florida State College-Jacksonville at 2 p.m. in Jacksonville.