Samuel's Late Shot Lifts Polk State over Daytona State
Eagle Bernard Samuel sank a three-pointer with three seconds left in the contest to lead Polk State College (7-3) Wednesday to a 54-52 victory over Daytona State College (1-12) at the Winter Haven Health Center.
"That was a big shot," said Polk State College coach Matt Furjanic. "We were lucky tonight. We were one jump shot away from telling them we didn't play very well."
The Eagles led the Falcons by as much as 13 in the second half before the Falcons rallied to tie the game at 43 on a six-point run with 6:30 left in the contest.
Polk guard Ralph Simmons picked up a turnover and was fouled with 33 seconds remaining. He hit both free throws to give the Eagles a 51-50 advantage.
However, Falcon Levius Louissaint made it 52-51 with a bucket in the paint with nine seconds left before Samuels' game-winner.
Polk freshman guard Nafis Walker (Cheltenham/Philadelphia) was clutch with three treys at key junctures in the game.
Walker not only registered the assist on Samuel's game winner, but his first three sparked a rally in the first half to pull the Eagles within two of the hot-starting Falcons.
His second trey came in the middle of a six-point run just before the half to increase Polk's lead 25-19 at the break.
In the see-saw game, Walker's final three-pointer came with 1:56 left in the contest to give Polk back the lead 49-48. He finished the game with nine points, three assists, a blocked shot, a steal and a rebound for Polk.
Polk sophomore forward Shaheed Davis (Warren Harding/Ohio) led the Eagles with 10 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots .
Sophomore center Ismaila Dauda (Grand View Prep/Nigeria) added five points and 11 rebounds.
Falcon freshman center Darius Andrews led all scorers with 27 points, three rebounds, three blocked shots, two steals and an assist.
The Eagles travel to Gainesville for the Junior College Shootout. Polk meets Chipola Saturday at 5 p.m.