Women's Basketball rallies past Santa Fe, secures state tournament spot

Women's Basketball rallies past Santa Fe, secures state tournament spot

GAINESVILLE- The College of Central Florida women's basketball team picked up a huge come-from-behind win to qualify for the NJCAA/Region VIII for the first time in four years.

The Patriots rallied from down 16 early in the second half to sweep the season series from rival Santa Fe College with a 70-65 win.

"Our kids really battled back and played hard," CF coach Tommy Jones said. "They did a great job of pulling this one out."

Quira Demery scored all 22 of her points after halftime and finished 6-of-7 from the floor and 10-of-11 from the foul line after not attempting a shot in the first half.

"She really did a great job for us," Jones said. 

The 22 points were a season-high for Demery and also the most she has scored as a member of the Patriots.

Thais Oliveira (13 points, eight rebounds), Marcella Rocha (11 points, four steals) and Brittany Grant (11 points, five steals) also contributed in the win for CF.

CF trailed by 14 at halftime, but used a 28-10 run to take its first lead of the game since the opening moments with five minutes left.

From there, the Patriots made plays down the stretch to improve to 3-0 against the Saints.

CF went 2-0 in Gainesville this season, one year after going 0-3 on the road against SFC and losing three-of-four overall meetings. It marked the first time the Patriots have also swept the Saints since the MFC went to a three-game set with each opponent five years ago.

Up next for CF is a home game against FSC-Jacksonville on Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

The Patriots are 23-5 overall, but more importantly 9-1 in the MFC.

"We want to keep pushing," said Jones, whose team is closing in on its first conference championship in seven seasons.