Polk State won its second straight game tonight, defeating Palm Beach (No. 10 FCSAA) 78-68 in Winter Haven.
The Eagles jumped out to a 15-8 lead in the first half and never trailed in the game. After ending the first half up 40-31, Polk State came out strong in the second period, building a 56-39 lead with eight minutes remaining.
The Panthers, however, made a run, cutting the deficit to 67-60 with two minutes left but could get no closer.
"It feels really good to keep the momentum going after our big win the previous game against Eastern Florida," said Head Coach Brandon Giles.
"The fact that we showed up and played the way we did tonight tells me a lot about this team. We had been asking, 'What team's going to show up tonight? What team's going to show up the next night?'
"Well the team that we recruited showed up tonight. We have a great group of guys. They played hard, they executed well, and they rebounded the ball.
"That's the biggest thing right now. We're doing a much better job on the boards. We came out in the second half and didn't allow them too many second chances on offense.
"I'm just excited we got this win, and I have to credit assistant coaches Josh Jackson and Chad Mervis for all the hard work that they put in scouting and helping us prepare. They're a big part of our recent success."
Bernat Vanaclocha also scored in double figures (17), shooting seven-for-eight from the field and pulling down six rebounds.
"My hat goes off to Bernat," said Giles. "He had a huge game. He scored, caught the ball, rebounded, and defended well. He did it all tonight."
Janiel Jafet "JJ" Romer Rosario had nine points and 10 rebounds, while Alowei Talent also scored nine points.
Polk State (4-6) returns to action Wednesday against Central Florida at 7 p.m. in Winter Haven. The game will feature a halftime tribute to retiring Athletic Director Bing Tyus.