EFSC Women’s Basketball Advance to National Quarterfinals After Knocking Off No. 2 Shelton State 48-45
By Michael Parsons, Eastern Florida State College // March 19, 2022
titans snapped Shelton State's 28-game win streak
LUBBOCK, TEXAS – The Eastern Florida State College women’s basketball team defeated Shelton State College Thursday evening at the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament.
The Titans, who are now 28-4 on the season, used a late run in the fourth quarter to pick up the 48-45 win and advance to the quarterfinals. It is the first time the Titans have been in the national tournament and will play No. 23 seed Jones College on Saturday at 4 p.m. eastern time.
“I think we just believed,” Eastern Florida State College women’s basketball coach MJ Baker said of the win. “We have been tested all season playing in Florida and we have been in these situations, it gave us confidence.”
Leilani Guion and L’or Eyeba Mputu hit huge shots after shot down the stretch as the two combined for 11 of the team’s 17 points in the fourth quarter. Guion tied the game with 5:30 remaining and Mputu gave the Titans their first lead with 4:30 remaining.
“I just knew that we were down and somebody had to step up so I took it upon myself to step up and ultimately me stepping up leads to my teammates stepping up,” Guion said. “On the defensive end, we were all working so hard and that gave us the energy on offense.”
From there, Tatiana Beaumont would give the Titans the largest lead of the game, 47-41 with under a minute but Shelton State was not done.
It wasn’t easy as Shelton State came back with a basket and then had a steal and basket with 15 seconds remaining to cut the lead to two. But Mputu played strong defense to get the block and deny Shelton State. Kaitlyn Sanders stepped to the line and hit one to make it a three-point win.
Eastern Florida State College came out cold in the first quarter but used strong defense to stay in the game. A late surge gave Shelton State a 14-5 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Titans got things going in the second quarter as Shadaria Smith hit a 3-pointer and then L’or Eyeba Mputu made a three-point play to pull within three.
Two minutes later Leilani Guion made a driving basket and was fouled. She would hit her free throw to tie the game 16-16. But once again Shelton State closed the quarter with a run, this time 7-1 to lead 23-18 at halftime.
Guion finished with a career-best 17 points while Mputu finished with 16 points in the win.
“Honestly we keep talking about how we beat Tallahassee five years ago in the semifinals of the state tournament and they went on to win the national championship, Northwest Florida lost in the semis last year and went on to win the national title so we keep saying that losing in the semifinals propels teams in the national tournament,” Baker said.
“This team has everything it takes to win a title.”
The win snapped a 28-game win streak by Shelton State and ends the season 29-2.
Fans can watch the national tournament games live on the NJCAA Network for $10 per day or $30 for the tournament by visiting the NJCAA Digital Content website.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS