Eagles soar past Titans, 73-65

Tekorian “TK” Smith drives to the basket against Eastern Florida. He scored 20 points as the Eagles topped the Titans 73-65. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Tekorian “TK” Smith drives to the basket against Eastern Florida. He scored 20 points as the Eagles topped the Titans 73-65. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

Polk State upset Eastern Florida (No. 2 FCSAA, No. 5 NJCAA) 73-65 tonight in Winter Haven. 

Polk State won the opening tipoff, Milz Tatum hit a jumper, and the Eagles never trailed in the game as they snapped a six-game losing streak. 

After Polk State took a 9-2 lead, the Titans rallied to trail 28-27 before the Eagles ended the first half up 35-33. 

They also started strong in the second half, leading 45-35 at the 14-minute mark. Polk State enjoyed its largest lead of the game, 61-45, with 6:20 remaining.    

"We won the first four minutes of each half and I'm extremely excited that we did that," said Head Coach Brandon Giles. 

"My hat's off to Eastern Florida. They're one of the toughest teams to prepare for. They have a lot of talent and they're well-coached. 

"I'm proud of our guys for stepping up and finishing the game. One thing we haven't done this year a couple of times is finish when we've had leads, so I'm proud that we finished tonight and I thank our fans for coming out and supporting us." 

Tekorian "TK" Smith led the Eagles with 20 points, going four-for-seven from three-point range. 

Leighton Elliott-Sewell scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. 

Tatum also scored in double figures (11), adding six assists and three rebounds. 

Janiel Jafet "JJ" Romer Rosario and Caleb Townsend each contributed eight points. 

"I'm proud of these guys," said Giles. "We have a real great group and they show a lot of resiliency.  

"To be coming off six losses and to show up every day in practice and continue to prep at a high level and to give the energy, the effort, and the toughness shows a lot for each one of their characters."  

Polk State (3-6) returns to action Monday against Palm Beach (No. 10 FCSAA) at 7 p.m. in Winter Haven. 

 

Jan 19
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
at Florida Southwestern
Fort Myers, Fla.
Jan 23
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Bradenton, Fla.
Jan 30
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
St. Petersburg College
Red Out Game Winter Haven, Fla.
Feb 02
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
at Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, Fla.
Feb 06
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
Florida Southwestern
Winter Haven, Fla.
Feb 09
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Winter Haven, Fla.
Feb 13
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
Pasco-Hernando State College
Booster Club Appreciation Night Winter Haven, Fla.
CONF ALL

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