Land's 26 grounds Raiders
Published: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 15, 2005 at 11:57 p.m.
ALACHUA - Freshman sensation Natalie Land was the hero, pouring in a game-high 26 points, and Stacey Lewis was the perfect sidekick, adding 20 of her own to lead Lafayette to a 61-49 win over Santa Fe in the Raiders' house Saturday.
Land dropped 17 in the second half and was 10-12 from the free-throw line, but it was her hustle and determination to secure the victory that made the difference. The Hornets (15-2, 10-0) led 13-10 after the first quarter, even though the Raiders appeared to be getting the better looks on offense. But with Land, Lewis and Chandra Shine, who added 11, leading a crisp transition attack, Santa Fe (10-6, 5-0) never put a sustained run together.
"We threw in the towel when we down only nine points midway through the fourth quarter," said Santa Fe head coach Cindy Cox, whose team was fresh off a 53-51 district win over Keystone. "Eighty percent of the game is mental, and we let them get in our heads. And they have two players score a combined 46 points, and Shine is usually their better scorer."
The Hornets, who were also coming off a big win, led by seven at halftime and broke the game open with a 10-2 run to open the third quarter.
"In the past we've had trouble holding leads so I'm pleased with how well we played late," said Lafayette head coach Jimmy Blankenship, whose team shot 78 percent from the free-throw line. "I'm happy that we moved the ball well and came into a tough place and were able to beat a very well-coached team."
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