Eagle women fall to NWF State, playoff looms

Eagle women fall to NWF State, playoff looms

NICEVILLE, Fla. (February 20, 2016) – Just when it looked like Tallahassee Community College's women's basketball team could start thinking about a postseason berth, the second half of Saturday's game at Northwest Florida State College happened. 

The host Raiders erased an 11-point halftime deficit, outscoring Tallahassee in the second half, 58-36, and defeated the Eagles 86-75. 

Tallahassee missed an opportunity to lock up a postseason berth but will get a reprieve in the way of a one-game playoff against the same Raider squad on Tuesday. 

The teams, now both 4-8 in Panhandle Conference play, will meet at 7:30 p.m. eastern on Tuesday in Marianna, Fla. The winner will advance to the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA State Tournament. 

The second half was a stark contrast to the opening 20 minutes when Tallahassee forced 16 turnovers and led 39-28 at the intermission. 

After falling behind by 13 in the opening minute of the third quarter, Northwest Florida State scored 12 unanswered points to get itself right back in the game. 

The Raiders took a 50-49 lead at the 2:49 mark of the third quarter then broke a 51-all tie with five straight points. Northwest Florida State pulled away with a 32-24 advantage in the fourth. 

Tallahassee was outrebounded 51-29, and the Eagles hit only 8-of-20 free throws. 

Lawriell Wilson scored 27 points to lead Tallahassee. Eboni Watts added 18 and Janessa Murphy, 10. 

Staring at a seven-point deficit (13-6) midway through the first quarter, Tallahassee turned up the defensive pressure to get back into the game. 

The Eagles scored the final four points of the quarter to trail 16-14 then outscored the Raiders 25-12 in the second quarter. 

Northwest Florida State opened the second quarter with a three-pointer by Shami Goodman but Murphy got open in the corner and answered with a three of her own. On the Raiders' ensuing possession, Tallahassee forced a turnover, resulting in Lindsay John's layup to knot the game at 19 at the 8:20 mark. 

The game was later tied at 23-all then the Eagles scored seven unanswered, capped by Wilson's basket with 3:11 remaining in the second quarter. 

The lead remained at seven entering the final minute then Destinee McQueen extended it to double-digits with a three-pointer from the corner with 37 seconds left. 

Overall, Tallahassee closed the half on a 16-5 run and led 39-28 at the half.