Standing Alone: Raiders Claim Critical Road Win, Take Over Panhandle Lead

Standing Alone: Raiders Claim Critical Road Win, Take Over Panhandle Lead

MARIANNA, Fla. – Northwest Florida women's basketball fought off a furious Chipola comeback to claim a critical 67-64 road win in the Milton Johnson Center Wednesday.

The Raiders (22-4, 7-3) led 48-38 after three quarters but it was a firework show over the final 10 minutes as the teams, who entered the game tied atop the Panhandle Conference standings, battled to claim sole possession of first place.

Chipola (21-5, 6-4) erased the double-digit deficit capped by Rachel Johnson's 3-pointer with 39.1 seconds to play to tie the game at 64-all.

Moments later, Fapou Semebene handed the lead back to NWF for good with a free throw and Kynadi Kuykendoll iced the win with a pair of charity shots.

Semebene and Chanaya Pinto each ended the game with double-doubles. Pinto went for 14 points, 12 rebounds, while Semebene scored 13 points to go along with 10 boards. Laura Taylor knocked down four 3-pointers to add 14 points to the line score.

Northwest Florida outrebounded Chipola by 13, 43-30, and scored 20 points at the free throw line. The win was just the second for the Raiders in the Milton Johnson Center in the last eight years, the team entered the game 1-12 on the road against the Indians over that span.

With Gulf Coast's win over Pensacola on Saturday, Chipola will need to win at Pensacola in its next game to force a de facto play-in game with the Commodores on Feb. 19. NWF can clinch a share of the Panhandle Conference title and an FCSAA State Tournament berth with a win over Tallahassee on Saturday.

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