Eagles soar past Central Florida for third straight win

Tekorian “TK” Smith scores two of his 23 points in an 83-81 win over Central Florida.  (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Tekorian “TK” Smith scores two of his 23 points in an 83-81 win over Central Florida. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

The Polk State Eagles soared to their third straight win tonight, beating Central Florida 83-81 on Bing Tyus Night.  

The Eagles led 45-41 at halftime, which featured a tribute to Tyus, who is retiring after 35 years as a coach and athletic director at Polk State. 

Although the Eagles never trailed in the second half, they never led by more than six points.  

Down 83-81 with five seconds to play, Central Florida had the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead but failed to take a shot as time expired. 

Tekorian "TK" Smith led the Eagles with 23 points.  

Also scoring in double figures were Alsean Evans (21), Leighton Elliott-Sewell (17 points, seven rebounds, and Janiel Jafet "JJ" Romer Rosario (14 points, 10 rebounds). 

"I think we came up big defensively tonight," said Head Coach Brandon Giles. 

"I called a time out with four minutes to go in the game, and I said, 'If we get three stops in a row then we'll win the game.' So they go out and we get four in a row and we win the ballgame. 

"A lot of credit goes to Central Florida tonight. They're another tough team to prepare for. Traditionally, they're good and they're well-coached." 

Giles is pleased with the progress the Eagles have made at this point in the season.  

"Our defensive intensity has really picked up lately and that's been a big part of our success," he said. 

"I'm just proud of our guys. We're learning a lot about ourselves, about our team, and we're starting to be able to finish ballgames. 

"And my hat always goes off to my assistant coaches for what they do in preparation for our opponents." 

Polk State (5-6) returns to action Saturday with a noon game against Indian River (9-2, No. 7 FCSAA) in the JUCO Shootout in Ocala. 


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.

Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit polk.edu/equity<http://www.polk.edu/equity-diversity/>.