By SETH STRINGER
The NWF State women carried that moniker after routing second-ranked Daytona State 76-59 in the first round of the Region 8 tournament before upsetting sixth-ranked Chipola 53-50 in the Region 8 semifinals to punch their trip to the NJCAA Division I tournament in Lubbock, Texas.
That label didn't carry over to Saturday night.
The Raiders were outscored 45-28 in the second half against top-ranked Gulf Coast State, which cruised to a 76-56 win for the Region 8 championship in Ocala.
NWF State entered the night 0-3 against the Commodores, who defeated the Raiders 89-80 in Niceville in overtime, 88-63 at home and 87-65 at The Arena.
Their Raiders' last region title came in 1996, the third after crowns in '93 and '95. Of course that drought continued, but even so the Raiders are bound for Lubbock in a week and a half because of the NJCAA Zone Qualifier rotation that advances the top-two teams in Region 8.
Their seeding will be announced next week, although it could've been better based on the Raiders' start Saturday night.
NWF State held the Raiders to 3 of 15 shooting and led 16-10 after the first quarter, but the Commodores responded with a 21-12 advantage in the second quarter. That lead grew to 58-46 entering the fourth, despite Shami Goodman's team-high 16 points.
Britney Snowden and D'Rae Tullock added 10 points each for the Raiders, who were outrebounded 46-33 and shot 37 percent compared to the Commodores' 48 percent.