Fort Pierce, Florida – The Pioneers fought back from a 14 point deficit in the second half, but their late surge proved too little, too late, as Palm Beach State managed to hold on for an 85-82 victory. The loss dropped Indian River State College (IRSC) Men's record to 17-6 and 3-2 in the Southern Conference.
Palm Beach State held an 11-2 advantage early in the contest after IRSC scored the first bucket of the game, but went over 6 minutes before Kimani Binder hit a 3-point shot to cut the lead to 11-5. Palm Beach State pushed the margin to 12 points for most of the first half, as the score was 49-37 at the half.
It took the Pioneers almost 15 minutes before they could cut the lead to single digits when Jai Clark hit a 3-point basket, making the score 76-67. D.J. Winston hit a driving lay-up for IRSC which made the score, 76-67. Palm Beach State would not give in, pushing the lead back to 11 points with 2:37 remaining on the clock.
The Pioneers were not done, Binder hit a deep 3-pointer to cut the lead to 82-79. Palm Beach State scored on a tip-in with 53 seconds remaining in the game, making the lead 5 points, 84-79. Jai Clark got free with 46 seconds left and hit another 3-point shot, his 7th of the game, cutting the lead to 2 points, 84-82. IRSC played solid defense forcing Palm Beach State to take a desperation shot as the shot clock wound down, but IRSC was not able to secure the rebound and fouled with 14 seconds remaining. Palm Beach State was only able to convert one of the free-throws, but that was enough as the Pioneers had one last look at a 3-point shot for the tie, but Kimani Binder attempt was short.
Scoring for the Pioneers were Kimani Binder with 27, Jai Clark 21, and DeJuan Lockett added 12 points. IRSC will next be in action on Saturday, February 2, when the travel to Hialeah, Florida, to take on ASA College (Miami) at Bucky Dent Gymnasium for a 4 p.m. tip.