Central Florida narrowly missed out on an urgently-needed Mid-Florida Conference women's basketball victory Wednesday, falling to visiting Daytona State 61-52.
The Lady Patriots shook off a game-opening 8-0 run by the Lady Falcons to take a 24-19 halftime lead. But Daytona slowly closed the gap and pulled ahead in the second half.
Forwards TiChina Mitchell and Briana Gibson were productive and remarkably efficient in defeat. Mitchell made 10 of her 16 attempts from the field for a game-high 22 points; returning sophomore Gibson made 6 of 8 shots in a 15-point, 5-rebound effort.
The tenth-ranked Lady Patriots (11-13, 2-4 MFC) saw their FCSAA State Tournament hopes take a hit with the setback, reaching the halfway point of the 12-game MFC schedule in fourth place. The two top finishers in the MFC standings will advance to the eight-team tournament next month in Marianna; CF head coach Cheryl Rice is in pursuit of her tenth consecutive FCSAA berth.
CF visits first-place Hillsborough on Saturday, then hosts FSC-Jacksonville on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.