TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 13, 2018) – Tallahassee Community College scored 22 unanswered points midway through the fourth quarter to pull away from Chipola College in an 87-66 win in women's basketball action on Tuesday evening at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome.
Tallahassee improved to 20-5, marking just the second time in school history the Eagles have posted consecutive 20-win seasons. The win also enabled Tallahassee (5-5 Panhandle Conference) to stay alive in the race for the PC's second berth to the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA State Tournament. The Eagles trail second-place Northwest Florida State College by 2.5 games and need to win out and see the Raiders drop three straight to force a one-game playoff.
Tallahassee took a 12-point lead (58-46) into the fourth quarter, thanks to Jada Perry's buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the third, and the Eagles extended the advantage to 14 on Japonica James' putback in the opening seconds of the fourth.
Chipola didn't go away, however. Consecutive three-pointers by Tyra Johnson and Namiko Adams keyed an 8-1 run to cut Tallahassee's lead in half, and the Indians were still within seven (63-56) with 7:18 left in the game.
Five minutes later, Tallahassee led by 29.
Dawn Gipson hit one of two shots from the line to start a 22-0 run – Perry scored off one of Chipola's 30 turnovers to end it and give the Eagles an 85-56 lead at the 2:23 mark.
"It was a beautiful display of basketball," said Tallahassee head coach Franqua "Q" Bedell.
The fourth-quarter outburst completed a turnaround from the game's early stages when Chipola scored at will en route to a 24-20 lead after one quarter.
The lead went back and forth for much of the first half – there were eight ties and 11 lead changes. Tallahassee took the lead for good when a pair of free throws from Victoria Pearce put the Eagles in front, 30-29, with 4:03 left in the second quarter.
Six more points followed and the Eagles led 36-29 at the 2:48 mark before taking a 40-35 lead to the locker room.
Tuesday was a career night for many in the blue and gold.
James posted a double-double, 19 points and 11 rebounds, becoming just the third member of the Eagles' 1,000-point Club in the process.
Pearce had 15, her best scoring night of the conference season, and Perry added 10.
The win gave Tallahassee its first season sweep of Chipola since 2010.