#TCCBasketball: Eagle women beat Gulf Coast in thriller

Jada Perry drives by a Gulf Coast State defender (photo courtesy of Jamesha Cobb)
Jada Perry drives by a Gulf Coast State defender (photo courtesy of Jamesha Cobb)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 9, 2019) – Likely needing a win to keep its postseason hopes alive, NJCAA No. 11/Region 8 No. 4 Tallahassee Community College came through on Saturday, defeating No. 4/No. 1 Gulf Coast State College, 89-83, inside the Bill Hebrock Eagledome. 

The Eagles (22-5) are now 4-5 in Panhandle Conference play, two games back of the second-place Commodores (6-3) and 1.5 games behind third-place Chipola College (5-3). The win also gives Tallahassee the head-to-head tie-breaker with Gulf Coast State should that be a factor as the postseason picture comes into focus. 

The six-point margin of victory was the largest in any of the teams' three meetings this season, but Saturday's game was arguably just as dramatic. 

Tallahassee led 25-23 after one quarter and 49-47 at the end of a first half that featured nine ties and five lead changes. 

Gulf Coast State scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take a 54-49 lead, its largest of the game, less than two minutes in. Tallahassee had an even bigger answer – 19 unanswered points in just three and a half minutes. 

Daisha Braford got things going with a three-pointer. She hit another three during the run, which immediately followed a shot from distance by Victoria Pearce. De'Asia Reid finished the run with a putback that put the Eagles in front, 68-54, at the 4:20 mark of the third quarter. 

At that point, the game was following a similar script to the teams' January 5 meeting. That day, Tallahassee grabbed a 14-point lead midway through the third only to watch Gulf Coast State all but erase it by the end of the quarter – then eventually win in double overtime. 

Not on Saturday. 

The Eagles maintained a 74-63 lead heading into the fourth and showed the poise of a champion down the stretch. 

Gulf Coast State pulled within a basket on two separate occasions in the final 2:35. Both times, sophomore guard Juliunn Redmond had the answer. She scored in the paint with 2:11 left to extend the Eagles' lead to 82-78. 

After two free throws by Brittany Davis brought the Commodores back within two, Redmond connected once more in the paint for an 84-80 lead at the 1:36 mark. 

Redmond hit five of six from the line in the final 40 seconds to seal the victory and cap a 30-point effort. She also had 10 rebounds and six assists. 

Three other players scored in double-figures – Bradford had 18, Jada Perry scored 12 and Pearce, 11. 

Davis matched Redmond with 30 points for Gulf Coast State.    

Tallahassee will travel to Chipola on Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. eastern tip.