Men's Basketball - Falcons Take Mid-Florida Conference Title
Falcons Take Mid-Florida Conference Title
Saturday afternoon prior to the featured matchup of Daytona State and the College of Central Florida, Daytona State College honored six sophomores that have largely impacted the Falcons success this season. Two long, hard fought hours later these six sophomores and alongside their teammates would embrace a moment that they won't likely soon forget. The Falcons captured the Mid-Florida Conference championship for the first time since 2009-2010.
To make the Falcon's victory even sweeter, it came against the defending National Champion College of Central Patriots, who the Falcons had split with in their two previous contests.
From the opening tip you could feel the intensity inside the Lemerand Center rise as fans began to file in. The first half was not unlike many first halves for the Falcons. The Falcons saw the score seesaw back and forth. By the time the buzzer sounded for the first half, they found themselves down 37-30.
The start of the second half is where the Falcons normally make their move. However, the Falcons were unable to take control of the game in the second half and nearly five minutes in the Patriots had extended their lead to eleven, 46-35.
The Falcons needed to make a stand if they were going to be able to defeat the Patriots and claim the conference title. The Falcons did just that in the final 14 minutes of the game, the defensive play elevated for Daytona State as it has so many times this year. The Falcons managed to hold the Patriots to just 19 points in the remaining 14 minutes of the game.
With under two minutes remaining in the game, the Falcons seized their first lead of the game. Rashaun Stimage led the way for the Falcons with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Ayinde Sprewell scored 18 points with 9 rebounds and Tanksley Efianayi added 17 points in the Falcons late victory over the Patriots.
Head Coach Ryan Ridder commented, "This is all about these young men and their willingness to buy into one another and put in a lot of hard work to get to where we are today, and I couldn't be more proud of these guys."
The Falcons will next play in the FCSAA Region 8 Tournament on Wednesday, March 5th at 1 pm against Pensacola State. The Region 8 Tournament is held at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida.