The men’s basketball team from TFC lost in heartbreaking fashion on Friday night. Hosting the nation’s #3 ranked Florida Christian College, the Eagles let a late lead slip through their fingers and lost 83 – 87.
In front of a rowdy student section, the visiting Suns held an early lead as large as seven points for much of the first half. After trailing 13 – 17 midway through the first period, the Eagles bounced back to take a 39 – 35 lead at the half. In the second half, the Eagles used high pressure defense to take a 59 – 51 lead in the game, their largest lead of the night. The Suns would fight back to close the deficit to 73 – 72 with under two minutes remaining. After a three point play by TFC’s Derek Westfall and clutch free throws by Josh Barrett, the Eagles had extended their lead to 82 – 75 with just 28.4 seconds remaining. FCC’s Juwan Bray hit a three pointer from the wing to close the gap to 82 – 78. Bray would steal the ensuing inbounds pass and hit another three pointer from the same spot for a 82 – 81 Eagles lead. After converting another free throw, the Eagles held a 83 – 81 lead with 11 seconds left. On the inbounds play, Suns point guard Montique Lynch drove the full length of the court, made his lay up, and was fouled on his shot. Lynch converted the free throw to give the Suns a shocking 84 – 83 lead with 6 seconds remaining. Two turnovers later and converted free throws from the Suns, the Eagles fell short in their upset bid, 83 – 87.
TFC’s Barrett led all scorers with 23 points in the game. Westfall added 21 for the Eagles, and A.J. Williams had 21 points for the Suns. FCC’s Juwan Bray finished with 12 points on 5 – 8 three point shooting.
The Eagles will host region rivals Clearwater Christian on Saturday at 3:00 following the Lady Eagles game against CCC. The Lady Eagles will tip off at 1:00.