Women's Basketball downs Santa Fe, goes up 2-0 in conference

Women's Basketball downs Santa Fe, goes up 2-0 in conference

GAINESVILLE- For the first time in six years, the College of Central Florida women's basketball team is off to a 2-0 start in Mid-Florida Conference play.

The Patriots (16-4, 2-0) got 25 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks from Thais Oliveira and held host Santa Fe to 16 percent shooting after halftime on their way to a 61-50 win on Saturday afternoon.

"Any time that you can go on the road and get a win in conference it is big," CF coach Tommy Jones said. "I thought we played very well on defense and did a good job of handling their pressure.

"Thais played her usual great game and we really had a great team effort."

Oliveira scored 15 points in the first half, as CF built a three-point lead, before its defense clamped down to hold the Saints (9-8, 0-2) to just 18 points after halftime.

Brianna Mann (11 points, seven rebounds), Keaundra Ivory (nine points), Marcella Rocha (five assists) and Brittany Grant (eight points, three rebounds) backed Oliveira in the win for CF.

"Grant really provided a lot of leadership and Ivory came in and did some great things for us," Jones said. "(Marcella) really did a nice job of handling the ball against them and Brianna really stepped up for us."

CF fell behind 9-0, but used its defense to turn things around. 

For the game, the Patriots held the Saints to 1-of-16 from 3-point range and forced 17 turnovers. CF also held SFC to 28 percent shooting on the night.

It was the first win for the Patriots over the Saints in Gainesville in two years and pulled the teams to a 10-all deadlock over the past seven years.

With the win, CF avenged a last March's loss to the Saints on the road in the play-in game for the MFC's third and final spot in the FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII Tournament.

The Patriots will now turn their attention to two-time defending conference champion FSC-Jacksonville at home on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.