TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 13, 2018) – If Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball team doesn't reach the postseason, one thing is for sure – the Eagles can have a big say in who does.
Needing to win out and get some help just to get into a playoff scenario, Tallahassee took care of step one on Tuesday evening, knocking off Chipola College, 87-78, at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome. With two games remaining for the Eagles, they are now 1.5 games back of both Chipola and Pensacola State College in the Panhandle Conference standings.
The loss dropped Chipola into a second-place tie with Pensacola State College at 5-4 in league play. Both teams have three games remaining, including a date against one another in Pensacola on February 21. Pensacola State closes the regular season in Tallahassee on February 24 in a game that will likely have postseason ramifications for one, if not multiple, teams.
Tallahassee (17-9, 4-6 PC) still has a path to the Panhandle's second postseason berth, but for now will sit back and watch what unfolds Saturday when Chipola hosts Northwest Florida State College and Pensacola State travels to Gulf Coast State College. Depending on the outcome of those games, Tallahassee could still be in the mix when it heads to Northwest Florida State next Wednesday.
On Tuesday, however, the Eagles were simply out to pick up a second straight win, avoid being swept this season by Chipola and snap a four-game losing streak to its arch-rival.
Tallahassee did just that thanks to a second-half performance that was reminiscent of the Eagles' 10-0 start to the season. After allowing 50 points in the first half, the Eagles buckled down in the final 20 minutes, outscoring Chipola 44-28.
Chipola led by seven at the half and scored the first five points out of the break to open up a 55-43 lead with 18:42 remaining. Five minutes later, the Eagles had pulled even at 61 on Javien Williams' basket.
For the next 12 minutes, neither team led by more than three, and Chipola erased a three-point deficit with back-to-back baskets, the second by T.J. Howard to put the Indians in front, 78-77, with 2:52 remaining.
That turned out to be Chipola's final points of the night.
JaQuan Morris' sixth three-pointer put Tallahassee back in front, 80-78, with 2:18 left – the 17th and final lead change of the evening – and sparked a 10-0 run to end the game.
Morris finished with 21 points, one of five players in double-figures for Tallahassee.
Williams led all scorers with 25 points and had 10 rebounds – one of three Eagles to record a double-double.
Yuat Alok (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Keishawn Brewton (17 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles for Chipola.
Tallahassee used the three-point shot to keep pace during a high-scoring first half. The Eagles' first four field goals were from distance and they hit seven overall in the first 20 minutes.
Freeman-Daniels knocked down a three to give Tallahassee its largest first-half lead, 23-19, at the 11:37 mark.
Not to be outdone, Chipola knocked down eight first-half threes, including three during a 16-9 surge that broke a 34-all tie and sent the Indians to the break with the 50-43 lead.