Lady Patriots down No. 2 Tallahassee

Lady Patriots down No. 2 Tallahassee

OCALA- The College of Central Florida women's basketball team picked up a big win on Wednesday night against the second-ranked team in the state. 

The Patriots (8-3) allowed just two points over the first 10 minutes of the second half and held off a late charge from Tallahassee Community College and earned a 65-55 win at Patriot Gym.

"This was a big win for us and I am happy for the girls," CF coach Tommy Jones said. "They played hard and they gave a great effort.

"We still are making a lot of mistakes and we turned the ball over too many times, but I liked the effort we gave."

Thais Oliveira scored 18 of her 22 points in the first half to pace CF, while Valerie Hill came off the bench to score 11 points.

Quira Demery added 10 points and five rebounds and Brianna Mann contributed seven points and nine rebounds.

CF also got seven points from point guard Marcella Rocha, who scored all of her points over the final six minutes to help keep TCC at bay.

Demery, who spent most of the first half on the bench with foul trouble, scored six points during an 8-2 run to put the Patriots ahead 41-34.

From there, CF extended it lead to as many as 12 , but saw the Eagles get to within 52-46 with 5:08 remaining.

Demery, though, scored to give the Patriots the momentum back and Rocha added five points down the stretch.

For CF, it was just its second win over a Panhandle Conference opponent in the last five years. It was the highest ranked opponent the Patriots have knocked off in recent memory and their first triumph over TCC since December 18, 2010. 

TCC, which was coming off a 46-28 over No. 13 nationally ranked Walters State, saw its four-game winning streak snapped.

The Patriots, meanwhile, improved to 8-0 on the season when they allow less than 60 points.

CF has won four of its last five games and held TCC to 9-of-33 shooting in the second half and just 31.7 percent for the game.

At the foul line, the Patriots outscored TCC 21-9 and made 22-of-49 from the floor.

CF was kept in the game over the opening 20 minutes by Oliveira, who made 5-of-7 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the foul line.

The Patriots then held TCC without a point for a span of nearly eight minutes, before they held off a late burst by the Eagles. 

CF will be back on the court at Patriot Gym on Friday as they take on Eastern Florida State on Friday. Tip off is at 5:30 p.m.

"We need to build off this and not have a letdown on Friday," Jones said. "We've got to keep getting better."