West Palm Beach, Florida – The Indian River State College (IRSC) Men's Basketball Team lost an overtime thriller to Palm Beach State College on Saturday, 86-78. The game saw numerous momentum swings and lead changes. The Pioneers took the early 6-2 advantage, but Palm Beach built a 25-18 lead with just under 9 minutes to go in the first half. IRSC picked up the defense and pulled within three points on a Kimani Binder drive with 1:42 to go in the half, 37-34. Palm Beach went on a 5-0 run to close out the half, 42-34.
Palm Beach built a 10-point lead early in the second half before the Pioneers got back on track. Eddie Williams converted an offensive rebound into a bucket and was fouled as he cashed in the free-throw for the old fashioned 3-point play and pulled IRSC to within one point, 58-57. DeJuan Lockett tipped in a missed shot and gave IRSC the lead, 63-62 with 6 minutes remaining. The lead changed hands several times in the next few minutes, with the scoring being tied 73-73, after Palm Beach knocked down two free-throws with 26.4 seconds left. The Pioneers quickly called time-out and designed a play in which Binder drove right and a had a great look at the basket, but his pull-up jumper rolled off the side of the rim as time expired.
Palm Beach scored first in the overtime when they made one of two free-throws. IRSC took back the lead on an offensive rebound and jump hook by Charlie Daniels, 75-74. Palm Beach hit a 3-point shot with 2:15 on the clock in overtime, giving them a lead, 77-75. Daniels was fouled on the next possession and converted the first free-throw and missed the second, but Micah Johnson came up with a big steal which lead to a Binder lay-up making the score 78-77 with 1:42 remaining in overtime. Palm Beach took back the lead 79-78, and IRSC was unable to score after several offensive rebounds. Palm Beach took advantage and on the very next possession hit a 3-point basket as the shot clock was running down giving them an 82-78 lead, which proved to be enough as they went on to win 86-78.
Binder lead IRSC in scoring with 24, followed by Daniels and Williams both had 11, and Kahleel Ellis-Garcia added 10 points. Williams did an outstanding job on the boards for the Pioneers as he pulled in a game high 14 rebounds followed by Garcia with 10. The loss dropped IRSC's record to 18-9 and 4-5 in the Southern Conference.
The Pioneers will be in action in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Wednesday, February 20th, at 7:30 p.m. for a home contest with ASA.