RESULT (W): Northwest Florida, 73, Gulf Coast State 65

RESULT (W): Northwest Florida, 73, Gulf Coast State 65

OCALA-Tia Sanders scored the go-ahead basket with 2:21 left to start a game-closing 12-2 run that led Northwest Florida State past Gulf Coast State 73-65 in the NJCAA Region VIII semifinals.

With the win, the Raiders (26-3), ranked No. 3 in the nation, will face No. 2 Chipola (29-1) on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. for the state championship.

NWFS is the only team in the nation to defeat Chipola this season.

The Raiders lost 68-50 in last year's state finals to the Indians.

To get another chance, NWFS scored eight straight points during the 12-point run and made 6-of-6 from the foul line over the final 1:06.

The Commodores (20-10), who went 0-4 this season against the Raiders, trailed by as many as 12 points early in the second half.

Gulf Coast, though, battled back and tied the game on a 3-pointer by Mia Cooper with 2:21 remaining.

From there, Sanders, who scored all 12 of her points in the second half, put the Raiders ahead for good.

Daniela Wallen (19 points, seven rebounds), Simone Westbrook (16 points six rebounds, four assists) and Takisha Jordan (16 points, four assists) also had strong games for NWFS.

Tianah Alvarado (19 points), Chelsey Gibson (14 points, eight rebounds), Kiara Phillips (14 points) and Kristina King (nine points, 17 rebounds) paced Gulf Coast.