The Toccoa Falls men’s basketball team traveled to region opponent Piedmont International University on Monday, February 11. The Eagles built a double digit lead in the second, but had to hit a late three pointer to pull out a 77 – 74 win. With the win, TFC has now won four straight games and 6 of their last 9.
The Eagles built a 13 point lead in the first half, only to see that lead diminished to 42 – 35 at the half. TFC once again held a 13 point lead over PIU, but the home Bruins capitalized on a string of turnovers and missed shots to take the lead with less than a minute remaining. With possession of the ball but trailing 74 – 72, the Eagles called a play for sharpshooter Jon Sauls. Carlos Hamlett fed the ball to Sauls on the wing for an open three pointer. Sauls’ fifth made three of the game gave TFC a 75 – 74 lead with 12 seconds remaining. TFC’s Derek Westfall, playing with four fouls, stole the ball on PIU’s ensuing offensive possession, and quickly passed to Josh Barrett. Barrett was fouled and converted both free throws for a three point lead with 2.9 seconds left. The Bruins missed a half court heave to secure a 77 – 74 win for TFC.
Coach Mehl said of the win, “It was a huge win for us. We’ve been in so many close games this year, but we haven’t been able to put ourselves in the position to hit the big shots and close out the game.”
Josh Barrett lead the Eagles in scoring with 21 points on 11 – 12 shooting from the line. Westfall and Sauls each finished with 17 points, and Carlos Hamlett added 12.
The Eagles will conclude their North Carolina road trip today at Warren Wilson College, and host North Greenville University and Johnson and Wales University on February 14 and 16, respectively.