TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 20, 2019) – Richard Washington scored 25 points and Salisu Yahaha recorded a double-double to lead Region 8 No. 7 Tallahassee Community College to a 71-65 upset of NJCAA No. 6/Region 8 No. 2 Northwest Florida State College on Sophomore Night at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome.
Tallahassee improved its record to 22-6 overall, 6-5 in Panhandle Conference play. Later in the evening, the Eagles were eliminated from FCSAA Tournament contention by virtue of Chipola College's win over Pensacola State College.
The win was just the second against Northwest Florida State since 2011 - a span of 25 games.
The conference champion Raiders were coming off a loss at home to Chipola on Saturday and, early on, appeared ready to take out their frustrations on the Eagles. They led 9-0 less than two minutes in, forcing Tallahassee interim head coach Zach Settembre to burn two timeouts.
The Eagles responded with seven straight points and gradually seized control of the tempo and momentum.
By the 6:14 mark, Tallahassee had pulled even at 23-all on two free throws by Tyler Farmer. Three more ties followed before Deven Palmer's three-pointer gave the Eagles their first lead of the game, 32-31, with 1:41 left in the half.
Tallahassee scored the final four points, including an acrobatic reverse lay-in by Jalen Dalcourt just before the first half horn to give the Eagles a 36-33 lead.
The lead changed hands four times in the first five minutes of the second half – but when two Eric Boone free throws accounted for the last of those at the 15:12 mark, Tallahassee took a 43-42 lead and never trailed again.
Boone's freebies ignited a 12-1 run that put Tallahassee in front, 53-43, with 12 minutes left.
Northwest Florida State scored the next nine points to pull within one, but Tallahassee had an answer – a Washington basket was sandwiched between two free throws and a jumper from the elbow by Boone. Just like that, the Eagles' lead was back to seven (59-52).
The Raiders were within three with 90 seconds left but Washington scored in the paint to start a brief but clinching 6-0 run for the hosts.
Washington scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half.
Yahaya had 13 points and 11 rebounds, keying a 39-28 advantage on the glass for the Eagles. Boone finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Tallahassee will close the regular season on Saturday when it travels to Pensacola State College for an 8:30 p.m. eastern tip against the Pirates.