SURVIVE & ADVANCE | MEN'S AND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOK TO PUNCH TOURNEY SPOTS

SURVIVE & ADVANCE | MEN'S AND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOK TO PUNCH TOURNEY SPOTS

OCALA—The College of Central Florida men's and women's basketball teams survived and advanced out of the first round of the Mid-Florida Conference playoffs on Monday night at Patriot Gym. 

The women hosted Florida State College at Jacksonville, defeating the Blue Wave73-62 to advance to a winner-takes-all showdown against Daytona State College on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in Daytona. Winner will clinch the final spot for the Mid-Florida Conference on the women's side in next week's FCSAA State Basketball Championship. 

Four Lady Patriot players finished in double figures on the night. Freshman forward Desiree Mack led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds, while sophomores N'Mya Pierce and Tiahna Sears each recorded 12 points, and Jada Francois Lubin had 10.

The men followed with their first-round playoff game against Santa Fe College. The matchup set up a rematch from Santa Fe's buzzer-beating win a week ago.

Sophomore guard Jeremy Sheppard exploded for 31 points on the night, including nine 3-pointers, to help lead the Patriots past the Saints 92-81, and set up a winner-takes-all match against the Daytona State men. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. in Daytona. Winner will solidify the final Mid-Florida Conference spot on the men's side.

The 2019 FCSAA State Basketball Championships will take place March 6-9. CF is set to host the tournament for its sixth and final year. The women will kick off the tournament with quarterfinal action on Wednesday, March 6. The men will follow on Thursday, March 7, with four quarterfinal games. Games will tipoff at 1, 3, 6, and 8 p.m. both days.

On Friday, March 8, women's semifinals will take place a 1 and 3 p.m., followed by the men's semifinals at 6 & 8 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Saturday with the women's finals at 5 p.m. and the men's finals at 7:30 p.m.

Visit CFPatriots.net/fcsaatournament for tournament brackets and schedules.