North Florida 64, Tampa 63: North Florida's Felecia Monroe hit a 15-foot jumper with five seconds left to upset Tampa in a Sunshine State Conference women's tournament semifinal game Saturday in Tampa. North Florida (16-11) will face Florida Southern in today's championship game at 12:30 p.m. Tampa (21-6) must wait until tonight to hear if it receives a bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament.
With four seconds left, Tampa's Jeni Robinson inbounded the ball from halfcourt to LaQuanda Carmichael at the top of the key. But Carmichael momentarily lost the ball and by the time she regained possession, the buzzer sounded.
"We had a chance at the end and couldn't get it," said UT coach Tom Mosca, who led the Spartans to a record-setting number of victories and their first SSC regular-season title this season.
"We wanted to get the ball to either LaQuanda or Tori (Lindbeck), but there were three people on Lindbeck in the corner. The shot was (Carmichael's)."
Tampa, ranked seventh in the nation in field-goal defense (.345), couldn't stop the Ospreys in the first half. They shot 57 percent. North Florida led by as many as eight in the first half, but Lindbeck scored seven points during a 10-2 run to close UT's halftime deficit to 35-34.
North Florida increased its lead to 45-38, but UT stormed back behind freshman Jennifer Mason, who scored eight points during a 2:47 stretch that gave the Spartans a temporary lead. After four more lead changes, Monroe hit the game-winner.
Fla. Southern 70, Rollins 67 (OT): Second-seeded Florida Southern (22-6) outscored Rollins 5-0 in the final 46 seconds of overtime in an SSC women's tournament semifinal. Tracy Salmon scored with 34 seconds left to break a 67-67 tie. A technical foul on Rollins' Kellie Gardner produced another point for Florida Southern. Tami Newcomb's last-second three-pointer fell short.
_ DAVE BRACKMAN