BARNESVILLE, Ga. (November 27, 2012) - FCSAA No. 6 Tallahassee Community College won its sixth straight game - and fourth consecutive true road contest - on Tuesday evening, defeating NJCAA No. 23 Gordon State College, 86-79, on the Highlanders' home floor in Barnesville, Ga.
Tallahassee survived a bumpy final two minutes to secure the win and improve to 7-2 while Gordon State dropped to 6-2.
Following an intentional foul, Trevor McDade hit a pair of free throws to give the Eagles an 80-67 leave with 1:50 left in the game. Just when it seemed Tallahassee finally had some breathing room, Gordon State forced a turnover on consecutive possessions and converted them into five quick points in a 21-second span.
With Tallahassee's lead back to single digits (80-72), Gordon State turned the final 90 seconds into a free throw shooting contest. The Eagles proceeded to misfire on six of their next ten attempts from the charity stripe and when Tyler Brookins hit a three-pointer with 16.1 seconds left, the Highlanders were within five, 84-79.
Jonathan Hood, the Eagles' leading free throw shooter, ended the drama by hitting two free throws to make it a three-possession game (86-79) with 12.4 left. Tallahassee forced a turnover on Gordon State's ensuing possession and ran out the clock, much to the chagrin of a packed house in Alumni Memorial Hall.
As he watched his team overcome adversity down the stretch, Tallahassee head coach Eddie Barnes viewed Tuesday's win as another step in the Eagles' growth process.
"It was fun to watch a young team grow up on the road in a tough environment," said Barnes, who has made the trip to Barnesville a regular stop on the Eagles' non-conference slate.
Despite the youth up and down the Eagles' roster, it was veteran C.J. Washington, a Georgia native, who turned in a career night, recording a double-double - 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Hood added 20 points while McDade and Bernard Kline scored 14 points each.
Tallahassee took a quick 12-5 lead just over six minutes into the game and led 39-25 at the half. The Eagles were never seriously threatened in the second half until the closing minutes.
Tallahassee will return to action on Saturday in Marianna, Fla., at the annual Milton H. Johnson Panhandle Classic with a 5 p.m. eastern game against Santa Fe College. Friday's game at the Classic against Lawson State (Ala.) Community College has been cancelled.