The Toccoa Falls College Eagles traveled to Conway, South Carolina, to face NCAA division one opponent, Coastal Carolina University on December 13. The Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina have participated in the NIT national tournament for two of the last three seasons. TFC held their own in the mismatch for large portions of the game, but fell in the end, 38 – 75.
TFC planned to slow the game’s tempo and allow time to run off the clock before attacking the basket. Their game plan was successful in the opening minutes of the game as TFC was behind 17 – 15 with 8 minutes left in the first half. The slow tempo, however, did not affect the Eagles shooting. TFC’s Josh Barrett hit three of TFC’s five three point shots in the opening half. Barrett led the Eagles with 11 points in the half. As a team, the Eagles shot 44%, and played their best half of basketball of the season. A 13 – 5 run by Coastal Carolina to end the half pushed the deficit to 34 -25 at the half.
The Eagles were unable to keep the game close in the second half. The Chanticleers forced the Eagles into turnovers and capitalized on the transition points. When the Eagles were patient in their shot selection, they struggled to convert. The Eagles shot just 18% from the floor in the second half. Second half turnovers and cold shooting doomed the Eagles in their upset bid, and were defeated 38 – 75.
Coach Jason Mehl was very proud of his team’s effort. “I hope we realize what we can do when we are on the same page. This was a great way to close the first half of the season.”
Josh Barrett finished the game 4 – 8 shooting from three point range, and led the Eagles with 20 points. Freddie Harrell contributed with 6 rebounds and 5 points for the Eagles. TFC will not play again until after the Christmas break. On January 10,TFC will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina for a game against Johnson and Wales. The Lady Eagles will join the men in Greenville, South Carolina, on January 12 to face Bob Jones University.