TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (tcceagles.com) — Tallahassee Community College’s men’s basketball team pulled out a 75-68 win over Gulf Coast State College on Saturday afternoon at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome.
The win improved the Eagles to 17-2 overall and 11-2 in Panhandle Conference play. Combined with Chipola College’s 91-87 win over Pensacola State College, Tuesday’s showdown in Marianna between the long-time rivals will be for first place in the conference standings.
Both teams have clinched a berth in the FCSAA State Tournament, however, a win by Tallahassee would lock up at least a share of a second straight conference championship.
Gulf Coast State proved to be a handful for Tallahassee on Saturday. The Commodores had a four-point lead in the waning minutes of the first half before the Eagles used an 8-0 run to surge in front, 26-22, at the 3:13 mark.
Tallahassee never trailed again but never led by more than nine the rest of the way.
El Ellis’ three put the Eagles in front, 64-57, with 3:47 left in the game, but breathing room was short-lived as the Commodores answered with a three from Trashawn Wilson.
On the Eagles’ ensuing possession, DeAngelo Ware scored in the paint to push the lead back to six. After the Commodores went 1-for-2 at the foul line, Jeremiah Kendall hit a pair of free throws to give Tallahassee a 68-61 lead at the 2:26 mark.
Following a defensive stop, Ellis knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 70-61 lead with 1:51 left.
Gulf Coast State got as close as four following a basket by Jammy Pierre-Louis with 27 seconds remaining, but the Eagles iced the game by hitting three of four free throws.
Tallahassee finished 22-of-29 from the line for the game, including 10-of-13 by Ellis, who finished with a game-high 21 points.
Ware had 12 and Kendall, 11.
Tuesday’s game will tip at 8:30 p.m. in Marianna.