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TCC takes rematch

By DUSTIN KENT 
News Herald Assistant Sports Editor 

Posted Jan 23, 2019 at 9:00 PMUpdated Jan 23, 2019 at 9:00 PM

PANAMA CITY — Whenever Gulf Coast and Tallahassee get together, the two perennial Panhandle Conference powers always seem to bring the drama with them.

That was the case once again Wednesday night at the Billy Harrison Field House, as the No. 10 Lady Eagles turned the tables after a double-overtime loss to No. 7 Gulf Coast in their first meeting to take a much-needed 79-76 victory in the rematch.

With the win, Tallahassee improved to 20-3 on the season and more importantly 2-3 in league play. Gulf Coast fell to 15-3 overall and 3-2 in the Panhandle. The game combined with Northwest Florida State’s road win over Pensacola State on Wednesday puts the Lady Raiders two games clear of every other Panhandle team.

Of more import for the Lady Eagles was keeping contact with second-place Gulf Coast and third-place Chipola (2-2). The Lady Commodores missed a chance to get three games of distance on the defending national champion Lady Eagles, but with every game between the league’s top four teams this season being decided by single digits, getting separation in the standings is easier said than done.

“They’re all gonna be like that,” Gulf Coast coach Roonie Scovel said. “Hopefully we can make better decisions than we did tonight. When we had opportunities to make plays we turned it over or missed a shot, so when we get better with that and gain some confidence maybe we can win some more of these down to the wire games. But it’s tough, you know, it’s the Panhandle Conference.”

Juliunn Redmond scored 25 points to lead the Eagles, with Daisha Bradford adding 20 points on six made 3-pointers, and Jada Perry 18 points. Brittany Davis had her second straight big game against TCC, putting in 29 points after scoring 30 in the first meeting.

Alexus Dye also had 15 points, followed by Astou Gaye with 11, and Nadia Marshall with 10. The Lady Commodores came out on fire with five threes in the first quarter, including three from Davis, to take a 26-15 lead.

The Lady Eagles asserted themselves in the second quarter thanks to 14 points from Redmond to level the game 38-38 at the halftime break. TCC opened the second half on a 10-1 run capped off by a pretty up-and-under layup by Redmond to go up by nine.

Davis brought the Lady Commodores back with a nine-point third quarter, scoring on a step-back jumper and a pair of tough drives to her left to cut the TCC lead to 56-53 with 3:34 on the clock.

Gulf Coast regained the lead on a transition layup by Davis to make it 62-61 with 8:33 left in the fourth quarter, but Bradford beat the shot clock buzzer with a deep 3-pointer and Redmond made a tough bank shot in the lane to put the Lady Eagles up for good at 69-65 with 4:47 to play.

A 3-pointer by Gaye trimmed the margin to a point at 74-73 with 1:19 remaining, but Perry answered with a baseline drive to put TCC back up three. After an offensive rebound and putback by Gaye cut it back to one at 77-76, Redmond made two clutch free throws with 12.1 seconds on the clock.

The Lady Commodores had one last chance to tie and got a relatively clean look for three from Gaye, but the shot rimmed off and the Lady Eagles dribbled out the clock.

While TCC was the team more desperate for a victory coming in, Scovel said she didn’t think any extra level of urgency played a part in deciding the game.

“They’re just capable of doing that,” she said. “They had three games where they didn’t play as well, but tonight they made some nice plays and made more plays than we did.”

Gulf Coast will be back in action Saturday at Northwest Florida State. TCC will be home Saturday for Chipola.

TALLAHASSEE (79)

Lawson 1 0-0 3, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Bradford 7 0-0 20, Perry 6 3-5 18, Redmond 9 6-8 25, Washington-Polk 0 0-0 0, McChristine 3 1-2 7, Reid 0 0-0 0, Khalifa 1 0-0 2. Totals: 29 10-15 79.

GULF COAST (76)

Farcy 0 1-2 1, Dye 6 3-4 15, Kincey 0 0-0 0, Marshall 3 4-5 10, Diané 1 0-0 3, Davis 11 3-6 29, Banks 2 0-0 4, Mbandu 1 0-0 3, Gaye 4 0-0 11. Totals: 28 11-17 76.

Tallahassee 15 23 23 18 — 79

Gulf Coast 26 12 20 18 — 76

3-point field goals: TCC 11 (Bradford 6, Perry 3, Redmond, Lawson), Gulf Coast 9 (Davis 4, Gaye 3, Mbandu, Diané). Total fouls: TCC 13, Gulf Coast 13. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none.


 

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