#TCCBasketball: Eagle women fall in top 5 battle

Jas Hill
Photo courtesy of Greg Rowland

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (January 6, 2018) – Tallahassee Community College's women's basketball team dropped its first game of the season on Saturday, falling to top-ranked Gulf Coast State College, 81-64, in the Panhandle Conference opener for both teams. 

The loss snapped the Eagles' school-record 15-game winning streak and also ended the best start in school history. Tallahassee is now 15-1 (0-1 PC). 

Despite dropping its first game of the season eight days ago to No. 2 Shelton (Ala.) State Community College, Gulf Coast State looked like the two-time defending national champions on Saturday. 

Tallahassee scored the first five points of the game – all courtesy of the nation's leading scorer, Jas Hill – and led 7-2 two minutes in, but, for all intents and purposes, that's where the highlights ended for the Eagles. 

A 14-2 run, including 11 unanswered points, gave Gulf Coast State a 16-9 lead en route to a 19-16 lead after the first quarter. The Commodores' next run – a 15-2 spurt to open the second – all but put the game out of reach. Later in the quarter, Kionna Jeter's three-pointer pushed the lead to 20, 42-22, with 1:34 left in the half, and the Commodores led 44-25 at the half. 

Tallahassee's patented offensive surge never materialized, and the Eagles couldn't convert on some opportunities early in the third quarter, particularly from the free throw line. Tallahassee missed four straight free throw attempts to start the quarter and shot 7-of-14 overall in the third. 

Gulf Coast State's lead didn't dip below 19 points until Jamyra McChristine's bucket at the final horn. She finished with a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds, to lead Tallahassee. 

Tallahassee suffered its worst shooting performance of the season on Saturday – 8-of-36 (22.2 percent) in the first half and 22-of-72 (30.6 percent) overall. The Eagles' top three scorers, Hill, Japonica James and Nakiah Black, combined for just 36 points and shot 12-of-40 from the floor. 

James finished with a team-high 14 points while Hill and Black, who was playing for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in mid-December, finished with 11 points each. 

Meanwhile, the Commodores shot 49.2 percent (31-of-63) for the game, with most of the damage coming from three players. 

Jeter finished with a game-high 26 points. Shayla Bennett added 18, and Jhileiya Dunlap narrowly missed a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocks. 

Tallahassee will play its PC home opener on Tuesday when it hosts Chipola College at 5:30 p.m.