Eagles soar to OT win over St. Pete

Alsean Evans drives to the basket against St. Pete. He scored 19 points and made six rebounds in a 76-74 OT win as the Eagles stayed undefeated at home.  (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Alsean Evans drives to the basket against St. Pete. He scored 19 points and made six rebounds in a 76-74 OT win as the Eagles stayed undefeated at home. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

Polk State needed overtime but remained undefeated at home, beating St. Petersburg 76-74 tonight in Winter Haven. 

With the Eagles trailing 72-70 with three minutes left in OT, Tekorian "TK" Smith made a layup to tie the score.  

After St. Pete turned the ball over with two minutes left, Alsean Evans scored to give the Eagles a 74-72 lead. 

The Titans answered with a basket on their next possession, tying it at 74. 

Alaowei Talent was fouled and made a free throw, putting Polk State up 75-74 with 56 seconds left. 

The Eagles then fouled but St. Pete missed both free throws. 

Evans was fouled with 30 seconds left and made one of two free throws, giving Polk State a 76-74 advantage.  

After the Titans missed a three-pointer, and the Eagles missed a pair of free throws, St. Pete had the ball with .7 seconds to play but failed to take a shot, giving the Eagles the 76-74 win. 

The Eagles led 29-22 at halftime and Eagles opened up a 54-42 lead with eight minutes left. The Titans, however, tied the game at 58 at the three-minute mark and led 64-60 with 2:30 left on the clock. 

After the Eagles regained the lead, 67-65, the Titans made a basket at the buzzer, forcing overtime.  

"A lot of credit goes to St. Pete," said Head Coach Brandon Giles. "They're always going to give you a tough matchup with how well they're coached and how hard they play. They really bring it night in and night out.  

"Obviously it feels good to get another win on our home floor. We have to figure out when we get the lead how much more tough can we be to maintain that lead and increase that lead.  

"Those are things we're working on, especially because we don't always do what we need to do to win on the road. So coming up on Saturday, we need to have that toughness and be able to win a road game in conference play, which is going to be tough against a good Hillsborough team."  

Evans led the Eagles with 19 points and had six rebounds.   

Talent put up 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds. 

Bernat Vanaclocha posted double figures in points (11) and rebounds (10), shooting five-for-six from the field.  

The Eagles (11-11, 4-2) play Hillsborough at 4 p.m. Saturday in Tampa. 

 

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