GAINESVILLE, Fla. (December 8, 2018) – Saturday's NJCAA Division I men's basketball slate featured one game pitting ranked foes against one another – No. 12 Tallahassee Community College vs. No. 23 Daytona State College at the annual Florida College's Men's Basketball Shootout. The game lived up to its billing as Tallahassee picked up a thrilling 66-64 win to remain undefeated on the season.
The Eagles are now 13-0, matching their best start under head coach Mark White. Tallahassee won its first 13 games two seasons ago before losing to Daytona State, also at the Florida College's Shootout.
Saturday's game seemed destined for the same ending with Tallahassee facing a 64-59 deficit following a Daytona State basket with 2:39 remaining. The Falcons didn't score again.
The Eagles rallied to tie the game at 64, and Deven Palmer hit a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining to break the deadlock.
Palmer finished with 14 points, one of three Eagles in double-figures.
Trailing by five, Jalen Dalcourt hit a pair of free throws to pull Tallahassee within three. In a must-stop scenario, the Eagles' defense delivered, and Richard Washington hit one of two from the charity stripe to cut the deficit to two with one minute remaining.
On its ensuing possession, Daytona State missed an open three-pointer that would've, for all intents and purposes, put the game away. Still alive, Tallahassee took advantage and Eric Boone scored the tying basket with 20 seconds left.
The Falcons played for the final shot but misfired on the would-be go-ahead basket, and Palmer drew the loose ball foul on the rebound. Palmer's free throws were his only attempts of the game and capped Tallahassee's 11-of-13 effort in the second half.
Tallahassee shot just 31.7 percent (20-of-63) from the field and was outrebounded 42-32, but it forced 20 turnovers and outscored Daytona State, 16-10, in points off.
Dalcourt scored 14 points off the bench for the Eagles. Washington led all scorers with 25 points.
Tallahassee will return to action at 5 p.m. Sunday for more Shootout action against Florida State College-Jacksonville.