TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 28, 2017) – NJCAA No. 25/Region 8 No. 5 Tallahassee Community College led by as many as 20 points before hanging on to defeat Palm Beach State College, 90-84, in day one action at the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.
Tallahassee (12-3) had lost three of four before Thursday's win and will play its final Panhandle Conference tune-up on Friday when it hosts East Mississippi Community College on day two of the Classic.
The Eagles led 21-9 at the 13:19 mark of the first half then used a 17-4 run later in the half, capped by Trevor Lewis' three-pointer, to open up a 40-20 lead with 4:28 remaining.
Palm Beach State was able to stay within striking distance, thanks to a 14-of-20 performance from the free throw line in the first half. Down 20, the Panthers scored five straight points from the charity stripe to key a quick 9-0 run and they trailed 42-31 at the half.
Palm Beach State continued to chip away early in the second half, scoring the first four points to pull within seven (42-35) and eventually got as close as five (50-45) with 12:57 left in the game.
After managing just ten points over a span of 12:22, Tallahassee erupted for nine unanswered points in less than two minutes to regain the momentum and a 59-45 lead.
The Eagles' lead remained in double-figures until the final five minutes, but Palm Beach State could get no closer than six until the final 15 seconds.
Overall, Tallahassee struggled from the free throw line, shooting just 21-of-35 (60.0 percent) overall and 16-of-28 (57.1 percent) in the second half, but Javien Williams hit four straight in the closing seconds to finally end the Panthers' comeback bid.
He finished with 18 points off the bench to lead six Tallahassee players in double-figures.
Freeman-Daniels (11 rebounds) and Douglas (10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for Tallahassee.
Friday's game is scheduled to tip at 5 p.m.
East Mississippi dropped a 60-56 decision to Pensacola State College in Thursday's other men's game.
Tallahassee Community College Athletics would like to thank the Leon County Tourist Development Council and Wendy's for its support of the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic.