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Quick Start to 2nd Half Fuels Moccasins

Florida Southern seized the momentum early in the second half on Friday afternoon and never let go in an 87-74 victory over the Ouachita Baptist Lady Tigers in the first round of the women's 2011 NCAA Division II Tournament South Regional at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville, Ark.

With the win, No. 3 seed Florida Southern advances to the NCAA Division II Tournament South Regional semifinals at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. The Moccasins will face Delta State.

Florida Southern (26-4) led 43-37 at halftime, and Chelsea Johnson quickly expanded that advantage by scoring the first seven points of the second half.

Johnson's 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line with 18:05 remaining gave the Moccasins a 50-37 lead.

Florida Southern outscored sixth-seeded Ouachita Baptist 17-4 over the first 4:34 of the second half to built a 60-41 margin with 15:26 to go.

The Lady Tigers missed 10 of their first 11 field goal tries to start the second half. They never cut the Moccasins' lead under 10 points following Florida Southern's 17-4 run to start the final period.

Ouachita Baptist (20-9) shot 34 percent (25-of-74) from the field on Friday. Florida Southern was 28-of-63 (44 percent) from the field, including 13-of-33 (39 percent) from 3-point range.

Johnson finished with 22 points to lead the Moccasins. Tanja Speaker was next with 18 points, Michaela Hawley netted 14 points, Emma Cannon contributed 12 points and Megan Dzikas chipped in 10 points as all five Florida Southern starters reached double figures in scoring.

Cannon and Hawley grabbed 14 rebounds apiece.

Gabby Coleman led Ouachita Baptist with 23 points. Beulah Osueke had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Tigers, while A'Laeshia Adams added 15 points.