The Pensacola State women's basketball team opened Panhandle Conference play on Saturday at Northwest Florida State (NWF) where they dropped a hard fought 63-58 game.
The game was a low scoring affair as both teams played dogged defense and neither squad could find an offensive rhythm. The no. 1 nationally ranked Raiders have been averaging 80 points a game but the Lady Pirates held them to their second lowest scoring total all year.
Foul trouble limited two of the Lady Pirates leading scorers, Daja Woodard and Brandi Washington, throughout the game. Despite diminished time on the court Washington was the leading scorer with 16 points and Woodard contributed 12. Kailya Jackson was the leading rebounder for PSC as she grabbed seven.
Northwest Florida used the full court press to force the Lady Pirates into turnovers that they capitalized on for a 22-10 points off turnovers advantage.
Regardless, the game was up for grabs until the very end. The Raiders had extended their lead to eight points with four minutes to play and PSC used a 10-2 run to close the gap, but could not overtake them.
This game kicked off the gauntlet that is Panhandle Conference play as three of the top five teams in the nation - (#1) NWF, (#3) Tallahassee and (#4) Chipola come from the Panhandle. The Lady Pirates who have received votes in the latest NJCAA poll will host no. 9 Gulf Coast State on Saturday, January 12th for their next conference game.