TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 29, 2017) – NJCAA No. 4/Region 8 No. 2 Tallahassee Community College ran past Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) Community College, 86-55, in Friday afternoon action at the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.
The Eagles finished the non-conference portion of their schedule undefeated for the first time in school history and will carry a 15-0 record into next Saturday's Panhandle Conference opener at No. 1 and two-time defending national champion Gulf Coast State College.
For one of the few times this season, Tallahassee played an opponent on Friday who seemed perfectly willing to comply with the Eagles' patented "Chaos 40" style of basketball. And for a quarter, the visiting Pirates were up to the task.
Chattahoochee Valley weathered the storm early and trailed just 20-14 at the end of the first quarter. The Pirates were still within 10 (33-23) with 2:43 remaining in the half, but Tallahassee needed just 38 seconds to almost double its lead.
Tallahassee eventually outscored Chatt Valley 24-9 in the quarter, the 18th time it has held an opponent to single digits in a quarter, and led 44-23 at the intermission.
The Eagles upped their lead to 62-36 after three quarters and led by as many as 32 in the fourth.
Hill knocked down six three-pointers in the game and finished with 23 points, one of five Tallahassee players in double-figures.
On the guys side, NJCAA No. 25/Region 8 No. 5 Tallahassee Community College picked up its 13th win of the season on Friday, defeating East Mississippi Community College, 86-79, in day two action at the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.
Palm Beach State College defeated Pensacola State College, 73-57, in Friday's first men's game.
The Eagles improved to 13-3 with the win heading into next Saturday's Panhandle Conference opener at Gulf Coast State College (8:30 p.m. eastern).
Sophomore forward Leon Freeman-Daniels was the story for Tallahassee on Friday.
The Atlantic City, N.J., native posted career-highs of 34 points and 13 rebounds before exiting with a leg cramp with 2:26 remaining. He did most of his damage from long distance, knocking down 8-of-12 three-point attempts, just one off the school's single game record.
Friday's script looked similar to Thursday's win over Palm Beach State – the Eagles started strong then watched a large lead evaporate before holding on in the final minutes.
Leading 43-28 at the half, Tallahassee scored the first five points in the second stanza to extend its lead to 20.
Like Palm Beach State the night before, East Mississippi didn't lay down. The Lions scored seven unanswered points to pull within 13. Even down 18 (84-66) with just 2:26 left, EMCC continued to battle and closed the game on a 13-2 run.
Three other players joined Freeman-Daniels in double-figures for Tallahassee.
Friday's game also marked the first time Tallahassee head coach Mark White faced his former school. White was the head coach at EMCC from 2007-15, posting 161 wins, including one against Tallahassee in this same event on December 30, 2013. Current EMCC head coach Billy Begley was a one-time assistant under White and succeeded him in 2015.