#TCCBasketball: Eagle men win to close in on postseason berth

Leon Freeman-Daniels
Photo courtesy of Greg Rowland

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 14, 2017) – Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball team withstood a furious second-half rally from Gulf Coast State College and defeated the Commodores, 80-71, in Panhandle Conference action on Tuesday. 

Tallahassee, who earlier in the day jumped six spots to No. 13 in the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Poll, improved to 24-4 overall and 7-3 in league play. The win clinched no worse than a second-place tie in the PC, and the Eagles will head to Chipola College on Saturday with an opportunity to lock up a postseason berth. 

Tallahassee dominated the first half on both ends to the tune of a 43-22 halftime lead, but Gulf Coast State got right back in the game, scoring the first eight points of the second half. After Tallahassee extended the lead back to 14, Gulf Coast State went on a 10-0 run to pull within seven (47-40) with 13:50 left in the game. 

Just when the Eagles seemed to regain control, leading 64-50, the Commodores answered again, going on a 12-1 run and trailed 65-62 with 4:42 left. 

Gulf Coast State didn't score for the next three minutes while Tallahassee converted five free throws to extend its lead to eight, effectively sealing the game. 

The Eagles made only two field goals over the final eight minutes but clinched the game at the foul line, hitting 25-of-34 attempts in the second half. 

Five players scored in double-figures for Tallahassee, led by Kiair Crouch with 21. Jeremy Hayes, playing in just his second game since November 30, came off the bench to score 14 and was 8-of-8 from the foul line. 

David Simmons scored 12 while Leon Freeman-Daniels and Jacob Winston had 11 points each. 

Freeman-Daniels added 11 rebounds for the double-double while Deion Bute had 11 rebounds and narrowly missed a double-double with nine points. 

Tallahassee opened the game on a 9-0 run, courtesy of two three-pointers from Winston and one from Crouch. The lead hit double-figures less than seven minutes in. 

Saturday's game at Chipola is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. eastern.