Eastern Florida Women’s Basketball Scores Big Upset
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern florida State College // December 10, 2014
upsets Florida State College Jacksonville 64-57
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Playing its first of three straight games against nationally ranked basketball teams, Eastern Florida State College women on Tuesday scored their biggest upset in recent memory, defeating Florida State College Jacksonville 64-57 in the Melbourne Campus gym.
FSCJ came into the game with an 8-1 record and was ranked third in the state and ninth in the nation.
EFSC, ranked eighth in Florida, improved to 7-3, equaling its win total from last season when it finished 7-23 in head coach Jim Grimes’ first season. EFSC finished 3-27 in 2012-2013.
The victory also avenged a 90-67 defeat at FSCJ on Nov. 11.
Freshman point guard Nene Johnson, who scored 15 points, summed up the effort simply.
“We’ve got a lot of heart,” she said.
It took all that and more as FSCJ ran out to a 10-1 lead in the first 2 minutes and 48 seconds.
But the Titans chipped away, drawing even at 10-10 on a basket by sophomore Jessica Doyle at the 12:11 mark.
The game swung back and forth until FSCJ built a seven-point lead, 28-21 with 3:24 to play in the half.
But the Titans responded once again to tie things at 30-30 with 22 seconds to play on a basket by freshman Crystal Townsend.
FSCJ scored at the buzzer for a 32-30 halftime lead.
That set the stage for a taut second half that saw three ties and eight lead changes, the last as Johnson scored on a layup and sank a subsequent foul shot for a 47-45 EFSC advantage with 6:27 to play in the game.
The Titans never trailed again, outscoring the Blue Wave 17-12 down the stretch.
A Doyle three-pointer with 4:28 to play gave the Titans breathing room at 53-47. Aupont followed with two baskets for a 57-51 lead and sank a three-pointer with 1:10 to go to make it 61-53.
Aupont finished with a team-high 19 points and added 12 rebounds.
Townsend scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
“We preach being patient, we preach four things we talk a lot about: play hard, play tough, play smart, play together,” Grimes said.
“We were extremely tough. We were tough mentally, tough physically. I thought our defense was unreal in the second half. We rebounded like crazy too. We made big plays when we needed to.
“Great win, great win.
“We talked in the locker room about how much improvement we made last year. We really wanted to show improvement tonight. But, man the girls played their guts out.”
Grimes had praise for Aupont’s sophomore leadership.
“She stepped up huge,” Grimes said. “She started out so slow. I took her out of the game, it was like ‘I need you.’ And man she answered when it counted for sure.”
Grimes also praised his freshmen who displayed maturity and effort beyond their years.
“Nene was unbelievable today,” Grimes said. “She played so maturely. I thought Ebony (Griffin) was great. And Crystal as well.”
Aupont spoke of the team’s confidence.
“We told each other in one of the timeouts, ‘man, this is ours’” she said. “And we only had a couple of minutes left to go it was like ‘let’s play as hard as we can.’ Coach was like ‘we’ve got a couple minutes, I need you to go as hard as you can.’ The last five we toughed it out. I’m really proud of our team.
‘I just try to keep a positive attitude. Even when the shots are not falling or we’re not playing right defensively. If we play hard defense the offense will come.”
Next up for EFSC’s women is a trip to Marianna where they play two of their most high-profile games of the season. They meet Florida fourth-ranked and nationally 14th-ranked Gulf Coast State (8-1) on Friday and nationally No. 1-ranked and host Chipola College (10-0) on Saturday.
The Chipola game will be webcast at www.ihigh.com/school26516
The EFSC women wrap up their pre-holiday schedule by hosting the College of Central Florida at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16. CCF beat the Titans 78-57 on Friday. They then are off until hosting Niagara Community College at 6 p.m. Dec. 30.
Admission to all Titans home games is free.