#TCCBasketball: Eagle women win, force playoff vs NWF

Juliunn Redmond
Juliunn Redmond hit the game-winning shot on Saturday (photo courtesy of Michael Schwarz)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 24, 2018) – Juliunn Redmond hit a 15-footer just before the buzzer to give Tallahassee Community College's women's basketball team a 71-69 win over Pensacola State College on Saturday evening at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome. 

The win pulled Tallahassee (22-5, 7-5 Panhandle Conference) into a second-place tie with Northwest Florida State College (22-5, 7-5) in the PC standings and forces a one-game playoff with the Raiders for a berth in the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA State Tournament. The teams will play at 7:30 p.m. eastern on Tuesday in Marianna, Fla. 

Pensacola State trailed 65-56 with 5:25 left in the game but gave itself a chance at the win by holding the Eagles to just three baskets the rest of the game. 

The Pirates tied the game at 69 on Ta'Sheanne Armstrong's basket with eight seconds remaining. Out of timeouts, Tallahassee had to go end to end. 

Victoria Pearce took the inbounds pass and got the ball ahead to Redmond who pulled up and drained the game-winner, setting off a jubilant celebration on Sophomore Night.   

After conferring, officials put .4 back on the clock but Pensacola State, who was also out of timeouts, could only manage a desperation heave from 75 feet away, which fell short. 

Redmond finished with 10 points, one of three players in double-figures for Tallahassee. 

Nakiah Black led the Eagles with 18 and Japonica James had 15. 

Pensacola State gave Tallahassee everything it could ask for and more on a night when the Eagles had to win to force Tuesday's playoff. A loss would have eliminated Tallahassee from region tournament contention and left the Eagles with a very uncomfortable two-week wait until the NJCAA's Selection Sunday. 

Armstrong drained a three-pointer to open the game and the Pirates led 18-16 after a quarter. She opened the second quarter scoring with another three-pointer as Pensacola State extended its lead to as much as seven on three different occasions in the first four minutes. 

Down 29-22 with 7:06 left until the half, the Eagles got a spark from an unlikely source. 

Freshman Ayanna Mazyck, who entered the game averaging just 4.5 points, scored eight points during a 15-5 run, including back-to-back three-pointers that tied the game at 34 and pushed Tallahassee in front, 37-34, at the 3:10 mark. 

The Eagles led at the half, 41-36. 

Tallahassee looked poised to pull away in both the third and fourth quarters but could never close the door on the Pirates. 

Nakiah Black opened the second-half scoring to push Tallahassee's lead to eight (44-36), and the Eagles led 46-38 after two free throws by Redmond at the 7:50 mark. 

Another three-pointer by Armstrong ignited a 15-2 run that ended with Pensacola State taking a 53-48 lead by the 4:00 mark of the third quarter. Tallahassee took its turn with the momentum, scoring six unanswered points and led 54-43 entering the fourth. 

Pensacola State's Nia Johnson opened the fourth with a three-pointer but Tallahassee rattled off the next 11 points, capped by a lay-in from Pearce and seemingly had control of the game, up 65-56 with 5:25 remaining. 

Looking ahead to Tuesday's playoff, Northwest Florida State took two of three games against Tallahassee this season, however, the Eagles won the most recent meeting, a 61-51 decision in Niceville last Wednesday.