TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 29, 2016) – Tallahassee Community College overcame a shaky first half performance to defeat Hillsborough Community College, 82-57, on Tuesday evening in men's basketball action.
With the win, Tallahassee reached the 9-0 mark for just the third time in the last 16 seasons. The Eagles won their first nine games in both 2005 and 2014 but haven't started 10-0 since 2000-01 when they opened the season with 24 consecutive victories.
Early on, Tallahassee didn't resemble a team playing its first game as Region 8's top-ranked team but rather a squad coming off an eight-day layoff. The Eagles missed six free throws, committed seven turnovers and shot just 34.4 percent (11-of-32) in the first half.
After holding a 16-5 lead at the 12:00 mark, Tallahassee managed just six points over the next eight minutes, and Hillsborough pulled to within a point (22-21) following Anthony Jeanty's basket with 4:19 left in the half.
The Eagles were most effective from the three-point line in the first half, knocking down seven of 15 attempts, compared to 4-of-17 two-point attempts and even just 8-of-14 free throws. And that's where the game turned in just over three minutes.
Jeanty's three-point play finished the first half scoring and sent Tallahassee to the locker room with a 37-26 lead.
The Eagles carried the momentum into the second half, where they outscored Hillsborough, 45-31.
Crouch opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer. Jacob Winston followed with one of his six shots from long distance and, after the Hawks hit one of two from the foul line, Todd continued the Eagles' three-point parade. In just over 90 seconds, Tallahassee's lead had swelled to 19 (46-27) and the Eagles cruised from there.
Hillsborough got as close as 15 (54-39) by the 13-minute mark but Tallahassee scored nine unanswered points and eventually led by as many as 28 in the final minutes.
Winston, who hit 6-of-10 three-point attempts, led all players with 23 points. Crouch finished with 13 points and six assists. Deion Bute recorded a double-double – 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Jeanty led Hillsborough with 19 points.
Tallahassee will look to stay unbeaten when it hosts Albany (Ga.) Technical College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.