Eagles bounce back, handle Lamar-Port Arthur

Rifen Miguel was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field against Lamar State (photo courtesy of Greg Rowland)
Rifen Miguel was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field against Lamar State (photo courtesy of Greg Rowland)

PENSACOLA, Fla. (November 25, 2019) – Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball team bounced back from its first loss of the season and defeated Lamar (Texas) State College-Port Arthur, 80-59, on day one action at the Pirate Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Pensacola State College. 

Tallahassee, who dropped to No. 13 in the NJCAA poll and No. 4 in the Region 8 Coaches' Poll earlier on Monday, improved to 8-1. 

Just 48 hours before Monday's tip-off, the Eagles watched an 18-point lead evaporate in the final four minutes of an 83-82 loss to Georgia Highlands College. As it turned out, the short turnaround may have been exactly what Tallahassee needed to purge Saturday's disappointment. 

The Eagles came out on fire offensively, knocking down 17-of-32 (53.1 percent) field goal attempts in the first half. Still, Lamar State enjoyed a seven-point lead seven minutes into the game. Tallahassee finally swung the momentum, outscoring the Seahawks by 11 the remainder of the half and led 44-40 at the intermission. 

Defense was the story of the second half, as Tallahassee delivered what head coach Zach Settembre called an "elite effort." Lamar State managed just 19 points on 8-of-27 shooting (1-of-11 threes) and didn't hit a field goal over the final 4:42. 

Four players scored in double-figures for Tallahassee, led by Rifen Miguel and Yahel Hill with 13 points each. Miguel was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and hit his only three-point attempt. Hill, meanwhile, keyed a 32-19 advantage by the Eagles' reserves. 

Kailex Stephens and DeAndre Gholston had 12 points each. Stephens also pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. 

Tallahassee will continue play in the Classic at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College, who defeated Northwest Florida State College, 81-71, on Monday evening.