TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 14, 2017) – Tallahassee Community College's women's basketball team fell to Gulf Coast State College on Tuesday evening, 92-82, in Panhandle Conference action.
By losing, Tallahassee (21-5) missed an opportunity to pull into a first-place tie with Gulf Coast State in the league standings. The Eagles are now 6-4 in PC play while Gulf Coast State (25-2) took a big step towards winning the conference championship, improving to 8-2.
Tallahassee now sits in third place in the PC, one half game behind idle Chipola College (6-3) heading into Saturday's crucial showdown with the Indians in Marianna.
All three teams are in the top eight nationally. On Tuesday, the Eagles climbed one spot to No. 8, right behind the seventh-ranked Indians. Gulf Coast State dropped from the top spot to No. 3 after losing to Chipola on Saturday.
All three are in contention for a berth to the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA State Tournament and possibly the national tournament in Lubbock, Texas, in March.
Tallahassee jumped out to a 17-6 lead but the Commodores used an impressive three-point barrage to fight their way back. The Eagles led 28-23 after one quarter but watched Gulf Coast State win the second quarter, 27-20, and lead at the half, 50-48.
Neither team led by more than three points during the third quarter and Rosanna Jenije's basket with 40 seconds left in the quarter sent the game to the final 10 minutes tied at 65.
Tallahassee has made a habit of closing out teams in the fourth quarter during the season but on Tuesday it was Gulf Coast State who won the quarter, 27-17.
Down 12 with three minutes left, Tallahassee made a last gasp effort at the win. A three-pointer by Jas Hill and a three-point play from Japonica James cut the deficit in half with two minutes left. The Eagles got it back to six on the last of Lawriell Wilson's 31 points with 1:15 left, but they never got any closer.
Wilson had 17 points in the first quarter and 23 at the half, but scored only eight after the intermission and just two in the fourth quarter. Hill, Lindsay John and Janessa Murphy had 11 points each.
Three players – Shayla Bennett (5-of-8, 27 points), Taylor Emery (4-of-6, 25 points) and Maria Castro (4-of-7, 13 points) – combined to shoot 13-of-21 from long distance and scored 65 of the team's 92 points.
Tallahassee and Chipola will tip off at 6:30 p.m. eastern on Saturday.