Polk State beat Hillsborough Community College 83-73 today in Winter Haven in the opening round of the Suncoast Conference Tournament.
The Eagles led the Hawks 41-25 at halftime.
"I was real pleased how our guys came out in the beginning with a lot of intensity and energy," said Head Coach Matt Furjanic.
"In the second half, when Hillsborough made a run and got the score within six points with five minutes to play, we kept our poise and played good defense down the stretch."
Sophomore Troy Simons, playing his final home game at Polk State, led the Eagles with 34 points, with 21 of them coming on three-pointers.
"Troy Simons was outstanding tonight," said Furjanic. "He made some big shots when Hillsborough made their run to help us keep our lead."
Kadeem Webb made four three-point shots, scoring 14 points.
Branislav Labudovic had 11 points.
The Eagles (10-21, 5-8) play Florida Southwestern (25-6, 11-2, No. 8 FCSAA) in Fort Myers at 7 p.m. Monday for the Suncoast Conference Tournament Championship. The winner advances to the state tournament as the second seed from the conference.