Eastern Florida Women Make A Comeback To Beat Miami Dade
By Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications // February 1, 2015
We say ‘better today. Let’s make today great.’
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Eastern Florida’s women’s basketball team shook off another slow start and went on to defeat Miami Dade College 80-64 on Saturday at the Titans Field House on the Melbourne Campus.
The victory improved Eastern Florida to 17-6 overall and 8-1 in the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference, strengthening its hold on first place.
Miami Dade fell to 10-14 and 5-4.
Eastern Florida fell behind 27-14 with 10 minutes and 39 seconds to play in the first half but went on a 28-9 run to lead 42-36 at the break.
Sophomore co-captain Jessica Doyle ignited the run with a three-pointer to make it 27-17 and classmate and co-captain Rachelle Aupont capped it with a bucket in the waning seconds.
The Titans came out strong to start the second half and sped to a 52-36 lead.
The Titans kept Miami Dade at arm’s length until the Sharks got to within eight points – 64-56 – with 4:41 to play.
But Eastern Florida closed with a 16-8 run for the final margin. The Titans won despite being 18-of-31 from the free throw line.
The Titans now have beaten Miami Dade, Broward College and Indian River State twice each and own single victories over St. Petersburg College and Palm Beach State.
Their lone defeat was to St. Petersburg.
The six conference teams play each other three times each to determine the top three finishers who advance to the FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 tournament in Ocala in March.
Eastern Florida’s most recent tournament trip came in 2003.
But that isn’t on the mind of Eastern Florida head coach Jim Grimes.
“We don’t talk about winning the conference or what this game means or this or that,” Grimes said.
“The players know. I don’t have to tell them but the truth is we talk about playing with principles, getting better every day, focusing on process.
“We didn’t come into this season saying we better be 17-6 after playing 23 games. We say ‘better today. Let’s make today great.’”
And once again it took a bit of a struggle.
“We weren’t consistent again,” Grimes said. “We had a slow start and we’re working trying to explain that. But the last 10 minutes of the first half we really ramped up our defense.
“Of course we carried the momentum into the second half. Those two 10-minute segments we’re probably the difference in the game.”
Rachel Aupont had a monster game with 22 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Also registering double-doubles were freshman guard Nene Johnson with 14 points and 11 rebounds, freshman Crystal Townsend with 11 points and 10 rebounds and freshmen Paola Vasquez with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Doyle added 15 points. Johnson added six assists.
“We started slow but we got it back,” Aupont said. “It’s another conference game. We looking to win as many as we can.”
Next up for the Titans is a 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 home game against Palm Beach State.
Admission is free.