March 8, 2017
Gainesville, FL – The FCSAA #6 Santa Fe Saints (19-10) fought from 12 down in the second half on Wednesday afternoon in Ocala at the FCSAA Tournament, defeating the Broward College Seahawks 85-79 to advance on to the state semifinals Friday.
"I'm really proud of the way Rayven played today," said Mid-Florida Conference Coach of the Year Chanda Stebbins. "I thought she had a very tough defensive assignment but still managed to contribute on offense. Ari made some big shots and helped keep us in the game in the second half."
The Saints jumped all over the Seahawks in the early going, taking a 9-0 lead just two minutes in. The score was 15-5 when Broward decided to turn it on. They outscored the Saints 17-6 the rest of the quarter and led 22-21 at the end of the first.
BC continued their hot shooting in the second quarter and also turned up the defensive pressure, outscoring SF 21-13 to take a 43-34 lead at halftime. Broward shot 50% from the field in the first half and held the Saints to 39% shooting.
The third quarter started with the Seahawks continuing to score, building their lead to a game high 12. Timeout by Coach Stebbins helped turn the tide and the Saints closed the quarter with a flurry, turning it into a one point deficit heading into the fourth, 60-59.
"I am really proud of this group and how they've played through close games all year," said Stebbins. "Some went our way and some didn't, but they always keep composure and always keep fighting."
The game was back and forth in the final quarter with the two teams trading the lead back and forth.
With under two minutes to go and the score tied 75-75, Emanuel-Wright drove to the basket and banked home a runner to put SF out in front 77-75.
On the ensuing possession Santa Fe stole a pass but missed the wide open layup and a chance to make it a four point game. The Saints never panicked and after Broward went 1-of-2 from the free throw line, Wade took the inbounds pass and beat everyone down the floor, scoring a layup for the 79-76 lead.
Santa Fe buckled down on defense, getting a stop, and forced the Seahawks to foul. Evelina Avleeva made both free throws and after another stop, Wade made two more free throws to balloon the lead to 83-76.
Broward made a three pointer on the next possession but would get no closer as Emanuel-Wright iced the game with two free throws with just seven seconds remaining.
Avleeva had a solid game off the bench finishing with seven points and 12 rebounds and Corey Staples had seven points, four rebounds, and three assists.
The win secures the Saints a spot in the FCSAA Semifinals, and a date with Chipola College on Friday at 1:00 PM. That game will be broadcast on the FCSAA YouTube Channel. This will be the first trip to the semis for the Saints since a 47-46 last second loss to Northwest Florida State College in 2011.
For complete schedules, stats, and more information please visit www.santafesaints.com.