On to Ocala: Eagles beat Chipola to clinch postseason berth

Photo courtesy of Michael Schwarz
Photo courtesy of Michael Schwarz

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 13, 2016) - Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball team clinched a postseason berth for the first time since 2011 by knocking off Chipola College, 96-81, in the Eagles' home finale.

The Eagles (19-10) improved to 8-3 in Panhandle Conference play, one half game ahead of Northwest Florida State College (7-3) and those two teams will play for the conference championship next Saturday in the regular season finale in Niceville.

Tallahassee outscored Chipola 51-36 in the second half to pull away from a 45-all tie at the intermission.

It was a 17-4 run – beginning with Ryan Johnson's three-pointer at the 15:47 mark – that allowed the Eagles to gain the momentum. The run ended with another three, this one by Rashad Lewis, that gave the Eagles a 69-56 lead with 11:16 left in the game.

Chipola pulled to within six, 71-65, with 8:58 left, but Tallahassee scored the next seven points and effectively put the game away.

Hot shooting from the floor – 51.5 percent (34-of-66) to be exact – played a huge role in the Eagles' victory. The Eagles also knocked down 12-of-32 shots from the arc.

Six players scored in double-figures for Tallahassee, led by Daishon Smith's 18.

Jahvaughn Powell scored 17; David Simmons, 16; Lewis, 14; Johnson, 13; and Deion Bute, 12.

Next Saturday's game in Niceville will tip at 8:30 p.m. eastern.