Saturday, February 11, 2012
CF Lady Patriots 78, Santa Fe 67, 2OT (WBB)
Archrivals Central Florida and Santa Fe staged an instant classic women's basketball game on Saturday night at CF. The epic struggle ended with the host Lady Patriots, celebrating homecoming and clinging to its playoff hopes, outlasting the Lady Saints 78-67 in double overtime. (Watch the game in its entirety at PSBLive.)
The Lady Patriots opened a 5-0 lead before falling behind and entering the halftime locker room trailing 26-23. The Lady Saints applied more pressure in the second half, pushing their advantage as high as 49-37.
Quinnecia Twine's transition 3-pointer with 5:30 to play completed CF's methodical comeback and tied the game at 49. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, with Nikarre Sesler and Taylor Broadnax each hitting clutch jumpers to tie the game in the final 2 minutes and TiChina Mitchell's driving bucket with 21 seconds to play forcing overtime at 57-57.
Briana Gibson put the Lady Patriots in front in overtime with a three-point play off a nifty jump hook in the lane, putting CF ahead 62-61 with 3 minutes to play. Gibson gave CF the lead again with 20 seconds remaining, dropping in a layup off Twine's fast-break dish.
Santa Fe drew a foul with 6.4 seconds to play, converted the first to tie the game at 64 and missed the second free throw. CF's urgent drive for a game-winner off the rebound failed to yield a shot attempt before the buzzer, and the marathon game proceeded to a second overtime.
Breaking the pattern of scraping back from deficits, CF scored the first 8 points of the second overtime session, holding the Lady Saints scoreless until the 2:17 mark. The Lady Patriots secured the win with a productive parade to the free-throw line. CF outscored Santa Fe in the second overtime 14-3.
Five Lady Patriots scored in double figures, led by Twine's game-high 19. Gibson and Mitchell scored 17 apiece, Broadnax had 13 and Sesler added 12.
The game was a matchup of two of the MFC's three FCSAA State Tournament representatives from a season ago. Both are in danger of missing the postseason this year, as the MFC will send just two squads to Marianna, and Daytona State and upstart Hillsborough have pulled ahead in the conference standings. Saturday's victory keeps CF mathematically in the running to extend its season.
The Lady Patriots (13-14, 4-5 MFC) have Wednesday off, then travel to front-running Daytona State on Saturday, Feb. 18. Their next and final home game is Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 5:30 p.m. against Hillsborough.
That Feb. 22 game is CF's Kay Yow Cancer Fund Game; fans are asked to wear pink and donate $1 each to benefit the worthy cause.