Tallahassee Community College survived a second-half rally from Pensacola State College to beat the Pirates, 83-75, in men’s basketball action on Saturday evening.
Tallahassee is now 16-2 overall, 10-2 in PC play with three rounds of league play in the books. The Eagles have a one-game lead over second-place Chipola College (9-3) with four games to play, and can clinch one of the conference’s two automatic berths to the FCSAA Tournament with a loss by Pensacola State on Wednesday or by defeating Gulf Coast State College next Saturday.
Tallahassee led 41-24 at the half and needed only slightly more three minutes to extend its lead to 22 – El Ellis’ basket at the 16:50 mark put the Eagles in front, 55-33. Pensacola State didn’t go away quietly, however.
Ten unanswered points got the Pirates within 12 by the 13-minute mark. Later, a 14-3 run cut the margin to just three, 67-64, with still 6:21 left in the game.
Pensacola State got within three twice more, but the Eagles had an answer each time. Two baskets by Ellis and one from Shawn Walker kept it a two-possession game, and another Walker bucket put the Eagles in front, 77-71, with 2:11 left.
After a defensive stop, Ellis got his own rebound and scored on the putback for a 79-71 lead at the 1:26 mark, all but sealing the victory.
Ellis finished with a team-high 20 points. Jeremiah Kendall added 18 and Amir Gholizadeh scored 11, all in the first half.
Tallahassee will begin the last round of PC play next Saturday when it hosts Gulf Coast State at 5 p.m.
A 14-4 second quarter advantage proved to be the difference for Pensacola State College, in a 61-47 win over Tallahassee Community College in women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome.
Mel Feratovic opened an entertaining first quarter with a three-pointer to put the Eagles on the board first. She hit another basket to give Tallahassee a 9-3 lead midway through the quarter. After Tariah Bryant scored off an assist from Ana Nikulochkina, the Eagles had a 14-8 advantage, but the Pirates countered with an 8-0 run to grab their first lead of the game.
Briana Chambers scored in the closing seconds to tie the game at 16 after one quarter.
Pensacola State took control in the second, outscoring the Eagles, 14-4, to carry a 30-20 lead to the locker room.
Tallahassee got as close as seven in the third after Kyra Smith’s basketball made it a 37-30 game inside the final minute, but Pensacola State scored four points in the final 20 seconds to carry a 41-30 lead to the fourth.
The Eagles got within nine points on four different occasions but could get no closer.
Smith led the Eagles with 11 points. Chambers and Feratovic had nine each. Nikulochkina tossed in eight.
Tallahassee will begin the final round of Panhandle Conference play when it hosts Gulf Coast State College next Saturday at 3 p.m.