Eastern Florida State Women Conclude Historic Basketball Season After 71-70 Loss in National Tournament Semifinals
By Michael Parsons, Eastern Florida State College // March 28, 2023
finish the season a program-best 33-2
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Eastern Florida State College women’s basketball team fell short in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament semifinals Sunday evening at Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University in Texas.
The No. 2 seed Titans lost on a last-second shot by Trinity Valley’s Makiyah McCollister, 71-70, to finish the season a program-best 33-2.
Trinity Valley Community College made an 8-0 run to end the first quarter to head into the second quarter up 17-12. They would extend the lead to 11 with 5:25 left in the second quarter before Elli Garnett took over the game.
The sophomore from Golden, Colorado, scored 13 of her game-high 28 points in the second quarter as the Titans stormed back to within four at halftime, trailing 33-29.
The Trinity Valley lead would disappear in the third quarter as the Titans would outscore Trinity Valley 23-12 in the quarter and lead by seven heading into the fourth quarter.
The lead would remain until Trinity Valley went on one final 13-3 run in a span of three minutes to cut the Titan’s lead to one, 67-66.
But once again, Garnett hit a big 3-pointer to give the Titans a bit of room. But some missed free throws down the stretch, and some untimely turnovers gave Trinity Valley a chance with 6.2 seconds left.
McCollister, who finished with just seven points, hit the biggest shot with 0.2 seconds remaining.
The Titans were not able to get a shot off before the buzzer, ending the historic season.
Garnett also had 10 rebounds in the game, recording her second double-double of the postseason.
Amelia Hassett also had a big game for the Titans with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and Leilani Guion had 13 points in her final game as a Titan. Isimenme Ozzy-Momodu grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds and had seven points.
Eastern Florida State College won the FCSAA Region VIII Championship for the first time in school history and was the No. 2 seed for the national tournament.
The Titans made it to the quarterfinal round last season and went a step further this season with the semifinal appearance.
Trinity Valley will play No. 8 seed Northwest Florida State College Monday night in the national championship game at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPNU.
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