Bench Keys Lady Titan’s 63-52 Come From Behind Victory Over Palm Beach
By Mark DeCotis // January 18, 2016
Eastern Florida improved to 11-7 overall
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Trailing 15-4 after the first quarter Eastern Florida’s women’s basketball team fought back into the game in the second quarter and went on to score a gutsy 63-52 victory over Palm Beach State on Saturday.
The victory at the Titan Field House on the Melbourne Campus improved defending champion Eastern Florida to 4-0 in the FCSAA Southern Conference and dropped Palm Beach to 3-1.
Eastern Florida improved to 11-7 overall. Palm Beach dropped to 12-6.
Eastern Florida got early contributions from its bench players and vital fourth quarter points from starters Nene Johnson and Paola Vasquez to turn back the Panthers.
Sophomore Lakia Sims scored 30 points for Palm Beach including 10 of 13 in the fourth quarter. But Eastern Florida’s balance prevailed as Johnson and freshman reserve Dysheka Price scored 12 points apiece.
Vasquez scored 11 including a three-pointer to give the Titans a 53-48 lead and layups off two steals in the final 4 minutes and 48 seconds.
Price scored seven points in the second quarter as the Titans rallied from the 15-4 deficit to take a 24-21 lead.
Palm Beach, behind Sims, built a 46-40 fourth-quarter lead with 7:24 to go but Vasquez’s first steal gave the Titans a 48-46 lead. Eastern Florida finished with a 23-6 run.
“It took a team effort, we got into foul trouble but somehow we found a way,” said Eastern Florida head coach Jim Grimes.
“We’ve been doing that. Hopefully we keep doing it. The bench was big. Chelsea (Long) had five rebounds in the first half. This is the least amount of minutes we played out starters. Dysheka came in and gave us some scoring off the bench, was very aggressive. That’s why she’s here. She’s a great offensive player. She showed that today.”
“I was really proud of her and the rest of the bench. I thought Zoi (Thompson) came in and gave us some important minutes in the first half.”
In the end the sophomores came through.
“I looked at Coach Woodmansee and the rest of the staff when we went to the fourth quarter, I said ‘if we are going down we’re going to go down with Nene. We’re going to go down with what got us here.’ Paola hit a big three off of a set, Nene’s a gamer. Those two came up large for us in the fourth quarter.”
Next up for the Titans is a 5:30 p.m. Wednesday home game with conference foe St. Petersburg College. Admission is free.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE EASTERN FLORIDA SPORTS NEWS