After a back-and-fourth first half, Tallahassee Community College was able to pull away from Atlanta Metro in a 72-62 victory. Sophomore guard Kiair Crouch led the way in the closing minutes forcing several defensive mistakes while scoring 10 of his 15 points in the final 20 minutes.
The Eagles (2-0) and Trailblazers (1-1) traded the lead four times in the first half, neither team able to pull away from the other. Tallahassee went on a 7-0 run in the closing minutes of the first half, Jacob Winston connected from behind the arc with less than 20 seconds on the clock to send TCC into the break with a 35-29 lead.
After struggling in the first half, Crouch took the game over for TCC in the second half, starting with his defense.
“I picked up my intensity on defense.” Crouch said. “All my points came off my defense, coming off of steals… I wasn’t making shots in the first half. I was taught if your shot is not falling, then you need to play defense.”
Tallahassee never trailed in the second half, while getting their lead up to 15 in the closing seconds of the game. This is not unusual for head coach Mark White. Coach White has been able to make the adjustments that need to be made on the fly to give his team the advantage going into the second half.
“I think we just wear you (the opposing team) down.” Coach White said following the victory on Friday Night. “It wears on them not only physically but mentally.”
The offense is still searching for life, especially the three-point game. TCC was a combined 4-25 from deep, good for 16 percent on the night. Tre Todd, has shown signs of success from the arc, but as a whole the Eagles are still looking for someone to spark the offense for a full two halves.
“We have a lot of true freshman on this team.” Crouch said. “Once they transition from high school to juco, we’ll be good, once they adjust to the speed of the game at this level.”
Luckily for the offense, TCC has a tremendous defense that they can fall back on. After only allowing 59 points in their first game, the Eagles once again shut down the opposing offense down. Sophomore Deion Bute has really anchored the Eagles defensively, Bute recorded his second double-double in as many games finishing the night with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Tallahassee will have a short turn around as they now prepare to play South Georgia Technical College on Saturday November 5th at 2 P.M.