TCC men Pick Up NJCAA Win No. 500

By  | 

Pensacola, FL - Tallahassee Community College picked up its 500th NJCAA victory on Saturday night, defeating FCSAA No. 8 Pensacola State College, 77-73, in Panhandle Conference basketball action.

The win also clinched a 22nd consecutive winning season for Tallahassee, who finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 15-13 record (2-10 Panhandle Conference).

The milestone victory didn’t come easy for Tallahassee, who had to overcome an early 11-point deficit.

Pensacola State point guard Devin Wilson hit a trio of three-pointers in the first six-plus minutes – the last coming at the 13:48 mark to give the Pirates a 16-5 lead.

After Tallahassee scored six unanswered points, Pensacola State unleashed another three-point barrage. The Pirates’ next four baskets, including three from Wilson, were from long distance. Wilson knocked down the last of the four three-pointers, and his sixth of the night, to push Pensacola State’s lead back to 28-17 at the 7:02 mark.

Wilson added a seventh three-pointer before the intermission but it was Marlon Johnson’s buzzer-beater from just shy of half court that capped a 6-0 run and had Tallahassee within two points, 37-35, at the half.

After watching Wilson connect on 7-of-9 three-pointers, Tallahassee extended its defense in the second half and limited him to just 1-of-5 from long distance and 1-of-6 shooting overall.

Pensacola State still shot a respectable 11-of-26 (42.3 percent) from the floor and hit six more three-pointers, but Tallahassee turned to its own red-hot shooter in the second 20 minutes.

Bernard Kline, who entered the game averaging 8.2 points, hit 6-of-7 shots, including all three of his three-point attempts, and scored 15 points after the break.

As a team, Tallahassee shot 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from the floor in the second half.

Kline’s three-pointer, the last of his season-high 22 points, capped a 10-1 run and gave the Eagles a 68-59 lead with 3:13 left. But Pensacola State answered and pulled within a bucket following two free throws by Duwad Salaam with 24 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing inbounds play, C.J. Washington hauled in a pass from Johnson that nearly traveled the length of the floor, converted the layup and drew a foul in the process. The subsequent free throw gave the Eagles a 75-70 lead and all but sealed the win.

Like Kline, Washington was playing his final game in a Tallahassee uniform. The UAB signee scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Fellow sophomore Curtis Diamond rounded out Tallahassee’s double-figure scorers with 11 points.

Tallahassee’s first NJCAA victory came on November 7, 1991, a 116-84 win over Bishop State (Ala.) Community College, in a game that took place in New Orleans, La.

Beginning with that victory, Tallahassee has posted a record of 500-175, a winning percentage of 74.1 percent. The Eagles have averaged 22.7 wins per season, recorded fifteen 20-win seasons, won or shared four Panhandle Conference Championships, and won three NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Championships.

The Eagles have needed only two coaches to get to the 500-win plateau. Mike Gillespie won 258 games in ten seasons (1991-2001) as Tallahassee’s head coach. Eddie Barnes, now with 12 seasons in the books, has been at the helm for 242 wins, culminating with Saturday’s triumph over Pensacola State.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus