Gulf Coast outlasts #TCCBasketball women in double OT

Tameria Johnson drives to the basket for two of her career-high 23 points (photo courtesy of Greg Rowland)
Tameria Johnson drives to the basket for two of her career-high 23 points (photo courtesy of Greg Rowland)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 5, 2019) – If Saturday's women's basketball showdown between Tallahassee Community College and Gulf Coast State College was any indication of what to expect in the 2019 Panhandle Conference race – buckle up. 

Gulf Coast State, ranked fourth in Region 8 and ninth nationally, scored the game's final seven points to steal a 101-96, double-overtime victory from defending national champion Tallahassee Community College, who entered the game riding a 23-game winning and ranked No. 2 in Region 8 and No. 3 in the NJCAA. 

It was the highest-scoring women's game ever inside the Bill Hebrock Eagledome, as the teams combined for 197 points. 

Despite being outrebounded 75-43 and watching the Commodores attempt 24 more free throws (49 to Tallahassee's 25), the Eagles had numerous opportunities to walk away with the win. They led by 14 near the midway point of the third quarter and by nine, 72-63, with 4:27 left in the game but, in the end, the misfires proved to be costly. 

With the clock approaching a half minute remaining in regulation and Tallahassee leading by four, Tameria Johnson missed from point-blank range, and Gulf Coast State's Brittany Davis immediately knocked down a three. The five-point swing left the Eagles clinging to 79-78 lead. Following a timeout, Gulf Coast State put Johnson on the free throw line but she made just one of two, and the Commodores tied the game on Alexus Dye's basket. Juliunn Redmond's would-be game-winner rimmed out at the buzzer to send the game to overtime tied at 80. 

The Eagles led by three midway through the first overtime and had possession in a tie game with under 30 seconds left but Redmond turned the ball over, giving the Commodores a chance to win in. Tallahassee bowed up defensively, however, got the stop and the game moved to a second overtime tied at 90. 

Following ties at 92- and 94-all, De'Asia Reid's basket put Tallahassee in front, 96-94, with 2:05 left. The Eagles forced a 39th turnover on the Commodores' ensuing possession but Victoria Pearce missed a pair of free throws and the chance to make it a two-possession game. 

Davis tied the game then knocked down the go-ahead three with 1:04 left. She added a pair of free throws in the final half minute to finish with 30 points. 

Alexus Dye's 32 points and 23 rebounds led the Commodores. 

Both teams enjoyed a double-digit lead en route to the extra periods. Gulf Coast State led 32-20 in the second quarter, but Tallahassee used an 18-6 run to force a 38-all tie at the half. 

A 15-1 run, capped by Aliyah Lawson's three-pointer, early in the third ended with the Eagles in front 55-41 by the 5:23 mark. 

Tallahassee led 60-56 after three. 

Four players scored in double-figures for the Eagles, led by Johnson's 23. Daisha Bradford had 18 points and 13 rebounds. 

Perry and Redmond scored 16 points each. 

Tallahassee will return to action on Wednesday when it travels to Chipola College for a 6:30 p.m. game against the Indians.