TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 29, 2018) – Elijah Mitchell hit two free throws with 0.8 remaining to lift Monroe (N.Y.) College to a 74-73 upset of NJCAA No. 4/Region 8 No. 1 Tallahassee Community College in Saturday's final game of the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.
Looking to enter Panhandle Conference play undefeated for the first time since 2000-01, the Eagles instead will take a 16-1 mark into next Saturday's home game against Gulf Coast State College.
With the game tied at 72, Tallahassee's Mustafa Lawrence earned a trip to the free throw line with 23 seconds left. He hit the first but missed the second, snapping a streak of 15 straight made free throws by the Eagles.
On the ensuing possession, Monroe's opportunity to win wasn't decided until the final second. Mitchell appeared to be out of control as he spun out of a double team and heaved a desperation toss with his back to the basket, but Eric Boone was called for a foul and Mitchell calmly hit both attempts as the Mustangs claimed the last of 12 lead changes.
Monroe hit 19-of-22 free throws while Tallahassee finished 24-of-32 after starting the game 9-of-16.
Both teams enjoyed an eight-point lead in the first half. Tallahassee's came at 32-24 following a pair of Natorian Tyson free throws at the 3:20 mark, but Monroe scored the final ten points of the half then opened the second stanza with an 8-2 spurt to grab a 42-34 advantage with 18:12 remaining.
Tallahassee scored eight straight points to even the score and, following ties at 45, 49 51 and 53, added a 6-0 run to take a 59-53 lead at the 8:28 mark.
Monroe responded yet again, this time with nine unanswered points and neither team led by more than three over the final six minutes.
The Eagles nearly overcame a 5-of-32 night from long distance. Deven Palmer went just 2-for-10 but hit 10-of-15 free throws to finish with a team-high 16 points.
Dalcourt also finished with 16 points but was 2-for-8 behind the arc. Boone had 12 points.
Richard Washington, the Eagles' leading scorer, had just six points on 2-of-9 shooting (0-for-5 threes).
Pensacola State College defeated Jones (Miss.) College, 63-52, in Saturday's first game.
Tallahassee Community College Athletics would like to thank the Leon County Tourist Development Council and Wendy's for its support of the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.