The Indian River State College men's basketball team bounced back strong after a disappointing loss to Santa Fe College on Tuesday night and defeated Daytona State 89-86. It was an interesting week for The Pioneers as they struggled defensively against Santa Fe and gave up their biggest point total of the year allowing 101 points in a 101-93 loss. IRSC held a 44-38 lead at the half, but could not slow down Santa Fe allowing 63 points in the second half. "Our defensive intensity was lacking in the second half, and we gave up too many open shots, pointed out IRSC Head Coach Charlie Wilson. The Pioneers didn't have as much trouble on the offensive end with Deontae Weaver scoring 25 points, Anthony Brown 20, and Cedric Jackson chipping in 18.
It was a different story all together on Saturday afternoon when IRSC matched up with the Daytona State College Falcons who were ranked 5th in the December 19th NJCAA Region 8 Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll. The Pioneers started the game with much more intensity than earlier in the week and jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game and built the lead to as much as 10 points in the first half. Daytona State battled back and cut the lead to 4 points, but Cedric Jackson drove the lane and hit a lay-up at the buzzer to move the lead to 6 points at the half, 50-44. The lead went back and forth several times in the second half with Daytona State taking a 56-53 lead with 15:39 to go in the half, but IRSC continued to fight and took the lead with 85-77 lead with 1:27 left in the second half. Daytona State picked up their defensive intensity and forced the Pioneers into several poor offensive possessions and tied the game 86-86 with 11 seconds to go. IRSC's point guard Anthony Brown was fouled with 7.8 seconds and made the first free-throw and missed the second, but Cedric Jackson cleaned up the miss and pushed the lead to three. Daytona State had one more shot for the tie, but the long three-point shot was short at the buzzer. "This was a big win for our team, I couldn't be prouder of how we pulled together and got the job done", stated Coach Wilson. The win moved IRSC's record to 13-5 and dropped Daytona State to 13-4. Leading scorers for the Pioneers were Cedric Jackson with 28 points, Deontae Weaver 22, and Anthony Brown added 14. Brown also added 13 rebounds on the evening.