December 14, 2018
Fort Peirce, FL – It came down to the last few seconds of the game for the number 6th ranked team in the country, Florida Southwestern State College to defeat the Pioneers, 86-83. Florida Southwestern came into the contest with a 12-1 record and the 6th place ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association Poll. Indian River State College (IRSC) Men's Basketball Team brought a 12-2 record and had received votes in the national poll.
IRSC started the game hot and took the early lead in the contest 10-5 on a DeJuan Lockett power-up. Southwestern battled back and gained a 20-19 advantage with 12:35 to go. The lead went back and forth with Southwestern taking a 50-47 lead into the half. The first half was very physical with both of the Pioneers' inside players, Charlie Daniels and DeJuan Lockett, picking up two early fouls. Freshmen Tadre Morse and Chris McCray gave a big lift off the bench in the first half combining for 11 points. IRSC only dressed 8 players for the game due to injuries.
The Pioneers trailed most of the second half until Jai Clark hit a three-point basket with 4:21 to give the home team a 78-76 lead. The score was knotted at 82 when Lockett was fouled on a defensive rebound sending the freshmen forward to the line.
Lockett converted the first free-throw, but missed the second making the lead 83-82. Southwestern had several looks at the basket and were fouled with 32.4 seconds left to go in the game. They converted both free-throws giving them back the lead 84-83.
Jai Clark got an open three-point shot but just missed and IRSC had to foul sending Southwestern back to the line. They made both free-throws with 12.8 seconds and gaining an 86-83 lead. Kahleel Ellis-Garcia got a decent look at a three-point shot at the buzzer for the Pioneers, but his attempt fell short.
Leading scorers for IRSC were Kimani Binder with 26 and Jai Clark with 15 points. The loss dropped IRSC's record to 12-3. They will be in action again on January 2nd, for a home contest in Fort Pierce, when they take on Polk State College at 5:30 p