Eagle men fall to Northwest Florida State

Eagle men fall to Northwest Florida State

NICEVILLE, Fla. (January 16, 2016) - Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball team had its seven-game winning streak snapped on Saturday evening with an 81-72 loss to Northwest Florida State College in Panhandle Conference action.

Tallahassee (14-8) lost for the first time since December 15 and suffered its first loss in PC play. The Eagles are now 3-1, one game back of the first-place Raiders (4-0) and one game ahead of third place Gulf Coast State College (2-2), who comes to the Bill Hebrock Eagledome on Tuesday.

Tallahassee trailed by double-digits for much of the night on Saturday.

Northwest Florida State used a 12-1 run to grab an 18-7 lead at the 11:55 mark of the first half. After the Eagles got within six (20-14), a 14-6 stretch over a span of 5:15 pushed the Raiders' lead to 14 (34-20). Daishon Smith hit one of two from the free throw line in the closing seconds of the half to cut the Eagles' deficit back to single digits at the break, 42-33.

The Raiders matched their largest lead of the game – 14 points – three minutes into the second half on a basket by Shadell Millinghaus.

Tallahassee struggled from the perimeter throughout, finishing just 3-of-21 from beyond the arc. As a result, head coach Mark White began to attack the paint and called David Simmons' number.

Simmons, despite listed at just 6-foot-3, scored 19 of his game-high 31 points in the second half – all coming either in the paint or at the free throw line – and almost singlehandedly rallied the Eagles.

He scored to bring Tallahassee within three (61-58) then Rashad Lewis connected on consecutive three-pointers, the latter tying the game at 64-all with 6:39 left. On the Eagles' ensuring possession, Ryan Johnson, playing for the first time since December 15, scored on a putback for Tallahassee's first lead since 6-5.

Following ties at 67- and 68-all, Northwest Florida State scored six unanswered points for a 74-68 lead with 2:20 left. Deion Bute scored to pull the Eagles within four (76-72) at the 1:39 mark but that turned out to be Tallahassee's final points of the night.

Simmons pulled down nine rebounds and dished out five assists to compliment his scoring effort. Johnson, meanwhile, recorded a double-double – 15 points and 10 rebounds – in his return to the lineup.

Smith (2-for-9 FG, 0-for-4 3FG, nine points) and backcourt mate Jahvaughn Powell (0-for-9, 0-for-6, 0 points) combined for just nine points, 20 points below their average.

The Raiders were led by Jared Wilson-Frame, who hit 5-of-11 from long distance en route to 30 points. Millinghaus followed with 20 points.

Tallahassee and Gulf Coast State are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip on Tuesday.