MACON, Ga. -- TaRonda Wiles hit a baseline jumper in the final seconds, and top-seeded East Tennessee State survived North Florida's upset bid with a 63-62 victory on Saturday in the Atlantic Sun title game.
Siarre Evans had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucs (23-8), Wiles finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Tarita Gordon also had 14 points.Sophomore guard Brittany Kirkland had 15 points and seven assists for the Ospreys (12-20), who led 62-61 with 18 seconds left. North Florida forced a miss by East Tennessee State but the ball went out of bounds, and Wiles hit the winning jumper moments later.Juliemay Syquio finished with 13 points and Arlande Cherizol had 12 points and 12 rebounds for North Florida. Freshman forward Jadhken Kerr added 10 points.The two teams traded baskets in the opening minutes with neither leading by more than three points, until the Bucs used an 18-5 run to build a 30-14 lead with 1:30 left. North Florida responded with an 8-1 spurt to make it 31-22 at halftime.The Ospreys continued their run into the second half, outscoring the Bucs 16-5 in the first six minutes to take a 38-36 lead at the 13:42 mark. The teams again traded baskets and were tied 58-all with 2:30 left in the game.North Florida got back into the game by heating up from the field. The Ospreys shot 21.9 percent in the first 20 minutes but went 14 of 25 in the second half, while holding East Tennessee State to 12 of 39 from the field after the break.