#TCCBasketball: Eagle men fall to NWF State in finale

Kiair Crouch
Photo courtesy of Greg Rowland

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 25, 2017) – Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball lost its regular season finale on Saturday, falling to Northwest Florida State College, 64-59. 

Tallahassee ends the regular season at 24-6 overall, 7-5 in Panhandle Conference play. Northwest Florida State (26-2, 12-0) finished the PC season undefeated. 

Three of the Eagles' six losses have come to Northwest Florida State – all by single digits. Saturday's was particularly frustrating for Tallahassee, who had everything go right for the first 25-plus minutes. 

The Eagles held Northwest Florida State to just 27 first-half points and led by nine (36-27). By the 16 minute mark of the second half, Tallahassee's lead had ballooned to 43-29. 

Deion Bute's bucket with 12:48 left in the game put the Eagles in front 51-38, but Tallahassee made only three shots the rest of the game and as Northwest Florida State closed on a 26-8 run. 

The Raiders took their first lead of the game, 56-55, on Ron Freeman's three-pointer from the corner with 3:39 left. Tallahassee went back in front, 57-56, on David Simmons' basket in the paint on the ensuing possession, but the Raiders regained the lead, 59-57, on a basket by Andres Feliz with 2:33 left and never trailed again. 

Tallahassee's last hope at a comeback fizzled when Kiair Crouch hit just one of two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to bring the Eagles within three. On the ensuing possession, the Raiders' Jared Wilson-Frame hit both ends of the double bonus to seal the victory. 

Crouch scored 14 and David Simmons, 17, for Tallahassee. Simmons also had 11 rebounds for the double-double. 

Crouch and Simmons, along with fellow sophomores Deion Bute and Joel Thabize and freshman Elvis Harvey, who will graduate this year, were recognized prior to playing their final home game at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome. 

Head coach Mark White was recognized prior to the game for winning his 200th career NJCAA game earlier this season. 

Eagle legend Marvis "Bootsy" Thornton was also recognized for his upcoming induction into the FCSAA Men's Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. 

Up next for the Eagles is a date with St. Petersburg College in the FCSAA State/NJCAA District VIII Tournament in Ocala, Fla., on Thursday, March 9. Tip-off will be at 3 p.m.