Eagles soar past Saints in OT

Alsean Evans and Leighton Elliott-Sewell celebrate with fans after the Eagles defeated Santa Fe 75-65 in OT. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Alsean Evans and Leighton Elliott-Sewell celebrate with fans after the Eagles defeated Santa Fe 75-65 in OT. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

Polk State remained undefeated at home today, beating Santa Fe 75-65 in overtime.  

After ending the first half down 33-15, the Eagles opened the second half with six unanswered point to cut the deficit to 33-21.  

They continued to chip away at the lead until Tekorian "TK" Smith's three-pointer tied the game at 55 with three minutes remaining. 

Polk State had a 61-59 advantage with 11 seconds left, but the Saints hit a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. The Eagles, however, took control in the extra period, outscoring Santa Fe 14-4. 

"A big part of why we won was actually hitting shots in the second half, and then responding when they made runs," said Head Coach Brandon Giles.  

"I say it every day all day and I know the players are probably tired of me saying it, but when a team makes a run we have to respond. And we did so today. 

"We didn't turn the ball over as much the second half and we made shots. Big-time players make big-time shots, and TK did just that when we needed him. I'm really proud of him. 

"And my game ball goes to Christian Woolridge. He hit some huge shots for us in the second half and I'm really proud of how responded after going through a tough stretch in the first half when he wasn't scoring." 

Smith led the Eagles with 18 points and five assists. 

Alsean Evans reached double figures in points (16) and rebounds (10). 

Bernat Vanaclocha also posted a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. 

Woolridge finished with 13 points, four rebounds, and two assists. 

Leighton Elliott-Sewell added 10 points and nine rebounds, shooting eight-for-10 from the free-throw line. 

Milz Tatum contributed eight points and three assists and made five of six free throws. 

With the win, the Eagles have won five of their last six games to improve to 7-7 on the season. They return to action Dec. 31 with a 4 p.m. game at College of Central Florida in Ocala. 

Jan 19
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
at Florida Southwestern
Fort Myers, Fla.
Jan 23
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Bradenton, Fla.
Jan 30
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
St. Petersburg College
Red Out Game Winter Haven, Fla.
Feb 02
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
at Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, Fla.
Feb 06
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
Florida Southwestern
Winter Haven, Fla.
Feb 09
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Winter Haven, Fla.
Feb 13
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
Pasco-Hernando State College
Booster Club Appreciation Night Winter Haven, Fla.

Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit polk.edu/equity<http://www.polk.edu/equity-diversity/>.