Fort Pierce, Florida – The Indian River State College (IRSC) Men's Basketball Team started the "New Year" off right with a 21-point victory over the Polk State Eagles, 103-83. This was the second meeting between the two teams with IRSC winning the first contest at the Florida Juco Shoot-out in Ocala, Florida, on December 7th 68-66.
The Pioneers came out on fire and took an early 10-3 lead, but Polk State took advantage of a few defensive lapses by IRSC and regained the lead with 11:03, 22-16. Jai Clark and Kimani Binder hit 3-point buckets and helped the Pioneers tie the score at 24 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half. IRSC continued to push the pace of the game and went into the half with a 50-40 lead.
The second half saw much of the same from IRSC as they continued to push the ball in transition. Polk State only dressed 7 players for the game, and it was obvious the Pioneers wanted the game to be played at a fast tempo. Eddie Williams, who has been injuried since December 12th, hit a 3-point basket from the wing which gave IRSC a 63-46 edge with 15:10 to go in the contest. DeJuan Lockett scored 4 points in one offensive series as he was fouled on a two-point basket, but missed the free-throw. The Pioneers controlled the rebound and Lockett drove left and hit the lay-up increasing the margin to 69-48. Polk State continued to battle and cut the lead to 15, but a driving slam dunk by Lockett with 6:25 moved the lead back to 20, 83-63. IRSC cruised on to a 103-82 win and increased their record to 13-3 on the year.
"We did a good job of moving the ball early and hitting the open shots" pointed out IRSC Head Coach Charlie Wilson. Kimani Binder had a big night scoring 35 points, his career high as a Pioneer. Binder came into the contest averaging 21.1 pointsper game which was first in region 8. Jai Clark continued his long-range shooting by hitting 7 3-point shots for a total of 21 points. Kahleel Ellis-Garcia chipped in 13 and was the team leader in rebounds with 8. DeJuan Lockett and D.J. Winston also scored in double digits with 10 points apiece.
IRSC will be in action on Saturday, January 5th at 2 p.m. when they travel to Daytona Beach, Florida, to take on the number 19th ranked team in the NJCAA poll, Daytona State College.