In a battle of the birds, the Polk State Eagles started the new year with a 71-59 win over the Broward College Seahawks today in Winter Haven.
With the victory, the Eagles (No. 9 FCSAA) improve to 12-5. Broward College entered the game ranked No. 8 FCSAA.
The Eagles ended the first half down 31-30, although they had a lead for much of the period.
In the second half, they built a 37-34 lead at the 18-minute mark and never trailed for the rest of the game.
The Seahawks cut the lead to 50-49 with nearly seven minutes remaining but failed to get any closer.
"It sure feels good to start the year with a win, especially with the type of team Broward is," said head Coach Matt Furjanic.
"They're a very good basketball team, one of the better teams in the state. We thought this would be a good test starting the new year.
"Our guys really put it together in the second half. In the first half our defense had a few holes in it and we let them get some offensive rebounds, but in the second half our defense just did an outstanding job, and that was the difference. We had some great plays and we didn't turn the ball over that much.
"We also had a balanced attack tonight. We didn't depend on one or two guys."
Troy Simons led the Eagles with 16 points.
The Eagles face ASA College (Miami) on Monday at 4 p.m. in Winter Haven.