Niceville, FL - For the third time this season, Tallahassee Community College watched a second half lead evaporate in the closing minutes against NJCAA No. 14/FCSAA No. 2 Northwest Florida State College, falling to the Raiders 73-66 on Saturday evening.
Saturday's loss eliminated the Eagles (13-12, 2-7 Panhandle Conference) from postseason contention while Northwest Florida State (21-4, 6-3) stayed atop the conference standings with the win.
Tallahassee led 61-52 with 5:40 remaining but was outscored 21-5 the rest of the way.
With the game tied at 66-all, Northwest Florida State took the lead for good on Darnell Harris' tap in of a missed field goal with 41 seconds left. Tallahassee turned the ball over on its ensuing possession and the Raiders put the game away at the free throw line.
The closing minutes negated an otherwise strong second half performance by Tallahassee, who shot 14-of-26 after the intermission to erase a six-point halftime deficit (35-29). The Eagles had outscored Northwest Florida State, 36-23, before the Raiders made their final charge.
Cameron Naylor scored 22 points to lead Tallahassee. Earvin Morris added 19.
The Eagles will return home for a Tuesday night game against Pensacola State College. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.