TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 29, 2017) – NJCAA No. 25/Region 8 No. 5 Tallahassee Community College picked up its 13th win of the season on Friday, defeating East Mississippi Community College, 86-79, in day two action at the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.
Palm Beach State College defeated Pensacola State College, 73-57, in Friday's first men's game.
The Eagles improved to 13-3 with the win heading into next Saturday's Panhandle Conference opener at Gulf Coast State College (8:30 p.m. eastern).
Sophomore forward Leon Freeman-Daniels was the story for Tallahassee on Friday.
The Atlantic City, N.J., native posted career-highs of 34 points and 13 rebounds before exiting with a leg cramp with 2:26 remaining. He did most of his damage from long distance, knocking down 8-of-12 three-point attempts, just one off the school's single game record.
Friday's script looked similar to Thursday's win over Palm Beach State – the Eagles started strong then watched a large lead evaporate before holding on in the final minutes.
Leading 43-28 at the half, Tallahassee scored the first five points in the second stanza to extend its lead to 20.
Like Palm Beach State the night before, East Mississippi didn't lay down. The Lions scored seven unanswered points to pull within 13. Even down 18 (84-66) with just 2:26 left, EMCC continued to battle and closed the game on a 13-2 run.
Three other players joined Freeman-Daniels in double-figures for Tallahassee.
Friday's game also marked the first time Tallahassee head coach Mark White faced his former school. White was the head coach at EMCC from 2007-15, posting 161 wins, including one against Tallahassee in this same event on December 30, 2013. Current EMCC head coach Billy Begley was a one-time assistant under White and succeeded him in 2015.
Tallahassee Community College Athletics would like to thank the Leon County Tourist Development Council and Wendy's for its support of the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.