TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 28, 2019) – NJCAA No. 12/Region 8 No. 2 Tallahassee Community College overcame an early eight-point deficit to defeat Monroe (N.Y.) College, 86-75, on day one action at the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.
The Eagles will carry a 15-2 record into Sunday's non-conference finale against Gordon (Ga.) State College. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.
Tallahassee and Monroe (10-5) played a thriller in last year's event, with the Mustangs claiming a one-point victory in the final seconds. While Saturday's meeting didn't go down to the wire, the outcome was hanging in the balance until the final ten minutes.
Five minutes in, Monroe led 16-8, and the Mustangs held the advantage for much of the first half. Tallahassee finally forced a tie at 32-all on Eric Hester's three-pointer at the 4:34 mark.
Trailing 37-33, Jordan Guest converted a three-point play with 2:10 remaining, sparking a 14-0 run to close the half and send the Eagles to the locker room with a 47-37 lead.
Tallahassee never surrendered the lead over the final 20 minutes, although Monroe pulled within a point on two different occasions inside the first six minutes of the half. Juan Felix Rodriguez' basket with 8:33 left in the game brought the Mustangs within 64-56, but they never got any closer.
Five unanswered points, a three by Guest and a pair of free throws from Yahel Hill, extended Tallahassee's lead to 13 (69-56) and all but sealed the win.
Guest hit 6-of-7 shots from the field and finished with 17 points, one of four players in double-figures for Tallahassee.
In Saturday's first game, Pensacola State College defeated Gordon State, 65-54.