TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 5, 2019) – Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball team rallied from a 12-point deficit in the final seven minutes to beat Gulf Coast State College, 84-80, in an entertaining Panhandle Conference opener on Saturday evening.
Tallahassee is now 17-1 overall, 1-0 in PC play.
The game featured 13 ties and 11 lead changes, the last going the way of the Eagles when Mustafa Lawrence dropped in a turn-around jumper in the paint with 36 seconds remaining to put Tallahassee in front 82-80.
Eric Boone forced a turnover on the Commodores' ensuing possession and was fouled, but made just one of two free throws to leave the game hanging in the balance.
Needing one more stop, the Eagles' defense delivered. Richard Washington corralled the rebound off Jacolbey Owens' game-tying three-point attempt, and he hit the second of two free throws to seal the victory.
Washington finished with a double-double, 13 points and 10 rebounds, despite shooting just 3-of-12 from the floor.
Lawrence came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points for Tallahassee, one of six players in double-figures. Boone had 14 and three players – Deven Palmer, Shamon Mosley and Jalen Dalcourt – scored 10 points each.
Midway through the second half, things looked bleak for the Eagles. Gulf Coast State used a 19-6 run to surge ahead, 71-59, with 7:47 remaining. After Mosley scored in the paint for Tallahassee, Kevon Godwin dropped in a pair of free throws to push the Commodores' lead back to a dozen, 73-61, at the 7:19 mark.
A pair of free throws by Palmer launched a 12-0 run, the last five courtesy of Boone, over the next 3:14 to tie the game at 73.
Cameron Holden scored the next four points to give Gulf Coast State a 77-73 lead, but Tallahassee answered.
Lawrence hit a three-pointer then made two free throws to give the Eagles a 78-77 lead with 1:48 remaining.
On the Commodores' ensuing possession, Dalcourt was whistled for a foul, followed by a technical on head coach Mark White. Holden, who hit 22-of-31 free throws on his way to a 34-point night, dropped in three of the four opportunities at the charity stripe to put Gulf Coast State back in front, 80-78.
Lawrence then hit two free throws to send the game into the final minute tied at 80.
Six ties dotted the first half action, which was nip-and-tuck throughout before the Commodores took a 34-31 lead to the locker room.
Tallahassee will return to action on Wednesday when it travels to Chipola College for an 8:30 p.m. game against the Indians.