Sha Brooks scored 15 of her 25 points in the second half as Florida upset No. 21 Arizona State 65-60 on Saturday to win the Lucaya Division championship of the Junkanoo Jam at Freeport, Bahamas.
Florida, which has won six straight since dropping its opener to Florida Gulf Coast, was coasting to victory when Jennifer Mossor’s free throw gave the Gators a 61-46 advantage with 5:11 remaining.
“We need to realize it does not matter if you are playing a ranked team on their home floor or an unranked team on a neutral floor, you have to work and play hard and we sure did not do that in the first half,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said following the game. “We were not taking things away from them and we were not doing what we were supposed to be doing.”
ASU (3-2) staged a furious rally, going on a 14-2 run to close within 63-60 on Nia Fanaika’s layup with 49 seconds left.
Brooks, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, clinched the game by sinking a pair of free throws with 7 seconds remaining.
“Obviously we struggled to make shots,” Turner Thorne said. “We got good looks and they did not fall for us and this team has yet to realize that they still can win even when shots are not falling.
“It was an unbelievable effort in the final minutes to outplay them the way we did and work that hard. There are some great lessons in this game. Hopefully we can learn them quickly and make some adjustments.”
Briann January, who was named to the all-tournament team, led the Sun Devils with 16 points and nine assists before fouling out in the final minute. Lauren Lacey added 10 points and Sybil Dosty grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.