Eastern Florida Women Score 76-53 Upset Over Hillsborough

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Hillsborough ranked eighth in the state

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA –  Eastern Florida’s women’s basketball team outscored Hillsborough Community College 41-21 in the second half on Monday en route to a 76-53 upset victory on the Melbourne Campus.

Eastern Florida improved to 2-0 with its second strong second-half defensive effort. Hillsborough, ranked eighth in the state in the first Florida College System Activities Association poll of the season, fell to 1-1.

The Titans started strong, building an early 12-3 lead. But Hillsborough chipped away, tying the game at 15-15 with 11 minutes and 21 seconds to play in the first half.

The Lady Hawks then pulled away to a 28-19 lead with 6:47 to go and a 30-21 lead with 5:22 to go.

But the Titans awoke. Two free throws by leading scorer and sophomore Jessica Doyle (19 points) followed by a three-pointer from freshman Paolo Vasquez made it 30-26.

Freshman Nene Johnson made it 32-28, sophomore and leading rebounder Rachelle Aupont (15 boards) made it 32-30 with 1:41 to go. Johnson tied it at 32-32 on a layup off a steal with 1:02 to play.

Jessica Doyle

Jessica Doyle

Doyle then brought down the house and ignited the Titans with a long three-pointer with a second to go to make it 35-32.

Nene Johnson

Nene Johnson

Hillsborough briefly tied things at 35-35 less than a minute into the second half but that was its last real gasp.

Before the Lady Hawks could catch their breath it was 45-35. Hillsborough got back to within five at 45-40.

But the Titans put things away with a 13-0 run that included consecutive three-pointers from freshman Amber Daniels, sophomore Rhaven Kemp and sophomore Dejah Bradshaw for a 58-40 lead with 9:45 to go.

Daniels was second-high for EFSC with 17 points while Johnson tallied 10.

Jim Grimes

Jim Grimes

“I was very proud of our effort on the defensive end,” said Eastern Florida head coach Jim Grimes. “That’s something that we have struggled with, especially playing man. They did a great job.

“I thought we did a great job the first half also. That’s (Hillsborough) a very talented team. A top 10 team in the state.

“I told the players this is kind of their chance to sort of be unveiled. This is a chance to play against a top-notch, Division I JUCO team. They showed up big tonight.”

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As for Doyle’s dagger just before halftime: “Big shot, big shot,” Grimes said. “Man that was one of the biggest shots of the game. It kind of got her going. They were excited going into the locker room and I think we carried it over into the second half for sure.”

EFSC now has won four straight going back to the end of last season when it finished 7-23.

“Hillsborough’s definitely a great team,” Doyle said. “For us to come out and beat them it’s a statement that we’ve been working hard and we’re not the same team we were last season.”

Next up for EFSC is a Nov. 11 trip to Florida State College Jacksonville. The Titans next home game after seven road match ups is Dec. 9 against FSCJ. Admission to EFSC home games is free.


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