Eagles ground Falcons in OT

Bernard Samuel soars past a Daytona State defender for a layup. Samuel's 26 points led the Eagles to a 69-62 overtime win. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Bernard Samuel soars past a Daytona State defender for a layup. Samuel's 26 points led the Eagles to a 69-62 overtime win. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

After losing two overtime games this season, Polk State won one tonight, beating Daytona State 69-62 in Winter Haven. 

The Falcons entered the game ranked No. 10 in Florida. 

Bernard Samuel led the Eagles with 26 points. With Polk State trailing 62-61 and a minute left in OT, he hit a three-pointer to give the Eagles a lead they kept for the rest of the game. 

With Daytona State forced to foul, the Eagles scored their final five points on free throws. 

"Bernard is such a tough competitor," said Head Coach Matt Furjanic. "He just plays with a lot of heart. He's the heart and soul of this team, and we follow him and Nigel Grant and Jaleo Wilkes. We have three good sophomore leaders and all three played a very, very good game tonight.

"Plus we got great rebounding from Tohi Smith-Milner and Reger Baker. Daytona State has been doing a great job of outrebounding their opponents, but we were right there with them tonight."

Polk State led 30-21 at halftime, but Daytona State opened the second half with a 10-point run. The Falcons had their first lead of the night, 40-38 at 9:35. 

"At the beginning of second half we had a little letup on defense," said Furjanic. "We let them take it to us a little bit, and we rushed our shots. We quit working on offense. 

"But I have to give our guys credit. They really responded. They bounced back and played tough defense the rest of the way. It was a nip-and-tuck game, and then we fell down by three with two minutes left in overtime, but we kept our poise. We got some big shots, and then we made our free throws at the end. When you have that lead and you make your free throws, it makes a big difference.

"We lost two overtime games, so it was nice to win one." 

Tohi Smith-Milner scored 14 points, and Jaleo Wilkes had 12.

The Eagles (7-5) hit the road Friday for a game against Montverde Prep.

Dec 16
Men's Basketball 2:00 PM
at Santa Fe College
Gainesville, Fla.
Jan 02
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
at Broward College
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Jan 04
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
Harcum College
Winter Haven, Fla.
Jan 06
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
Hillsborough Community College
Winter Haven, Fla.
Jan 10
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Bradenton, Fla.
Jan 17
Men's Basketball 7:30 PM
at Florida Southwestern
Fort Myers, Fla.
Jan 20
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
St. Petersburg College
Winter Haven, Fla.
CONF ALL

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