Tallahassee, FL - The 2014 Panhandle Conference basketball season is less than one week away for Tallahassee Community College. However, before the Eagles can turn their attention to Saturday’s doubleheader at Northwest Florida State College, they must first play host for the annual Best Western Holiday Classic.
Monday and Tuesday’s event will take place at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome and features four games daily, including a Tallahassee doubleheader in the evening session both days.
The Classic tips off at 1 p.m. Monday with women’s action between Pensacola State College and Central Georgia Technical College. The 3 p.m. game is a men’s contest featuring Eastern Florida State College and Gadsden State (Ala.) Community College.
At 5:30 p.m., FCSAA No. 7 Tallahassee (7-8) will play No. 8 Hillsborough Community College (11-5) in women’s action followed by the 7:30 p.m. nightcap when the Eagle men (10-4) host East Mississippi Community College (5-1).
For the Eagle women, the Classic is an opportunity to create some positive momentum after an up-and-down first half of the season, and Monday’s opener will serve as the rubber match between the Region 8 foes. A season-opening win at Hillsborough propelled Tallahassee to a 5-2 start to the season, but the Eagles have dropped six of eight since, including a December 6 defeat to the Hawks in Gainesville, Fla., at the annual Florida College’s Women’s Basketball Shootout.
Meanwhile, the Eagle men will go for a sixth straight victory in their first-ever meeting with East Mississippi. The Lions are the four-time defending NJCAA Region 23 champions and opened the season ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Poll.
After a near three-week layoff in November, Tallahassee has posted a 5-0 record in December to climb back to No. 4 in the FCSAA Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll.
On Tuesday, Tallahassee will host Central Georgia Tech in a 4:30 p.m. women’s game and Gadsden State in men’s action at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s early games will feature Pensacola State and Hillsborough in women’s action at noon and East Mississippi and Eastern Florida State in a 2 p.m. men’s game.