Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., – (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state, both undefeated, playing a rematch of last year’s State Championship. It would only make sense that the game would come down to the wire.
The Northwest Florida State Raiders defeated the Tallahassee Community College Eagles 78-76.
Tallahassee head coach Mark was previously 23-0 at home with the Eagles.
“It’s one of those games where if you’re sitting at home, and you’re getting ready to watch a college basketball game, you know it’s between two of the best teams in the country,” said TCC Head Coach Mark White. “And when the game is over, you say ‘man that was a great game.”
The first half was neck and neck. The Raiders got out to a 21-13 lead at one point, but Tallahassee never let them go on a substantial run. With 8:24 left in the half, Tallahassee had a 2-point lead, but that would be the only lead they had for the half.
Tallahassee’s Deion Bute opened the second half with a bucket, and the Eagles went on a 9-2 run in the first four minutes. Bute ended with 9-points and six rebounds.
During the last eight minutes, the game was tied six times.
With 29 seconds left, Bute grabbed a rebound and drew a shooting foul on the other end of the floor. Down by one, he hit one of two free throws to tie it at 76-76.
With less than 20 seconds left, Northwest Florida got the ball and pushed up the court. The Raider’s Daryl Edwards hit a layup with three seconds left to break the tie. Edwards led his team in scoring with 20 points.
Tallahassee’s Kiair Crouch pushed up the floor and tried for the buzzer-beater, but was double-teamed, and didn’t get a shot off. Many of Tallahassee’s players, especially Crouch, thought there was significant contact made on the shot.
“It’s one game,” said coach White, whose team is now 3-1 in conference play. “If you win, you enjoy it till 11:30 tomorrow… If you lose, you pout around a little bit, and by 11:30 it’s over with.”
Sophomore David Simmons lead all scorers with a season high 28-points.
Tallahassee looks to regain their momentum on Tuesday against Pensacola State at home.