Sometimes the best offense is a good defense.
Polk State used its defense to create scoring opportunities today, defeating Santa Fe College 74-68 in Winter Haven.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 4-0.
The Saints took an early 10-6 lead, but the Eagles came back to tie it at 23 and then go ahead 26-23 on a three-point shot by Janiel Romer Rosario.
The first half ended with the Eagles up 29-28.
Santa Fe jumped out to a 40-36 advantage in the second half before Polk State rallied to go ahead 42-41. The Eagles never trailed the rest of the game.
Clarence Jackson drives to the hoop against Santa Fe. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
What made the difference in the second half?
"Our defensive intensity, hands down," said Head Coach Brandon Giles. "We defended a lot better.
"One thing we're doing this year is creating offense off of our defense. That's been the emphasis every single day of practice. It's been the emphasis in every talk that we have. That's our identity, and if we're not defending then we're not going to play well. Today our players defended at a high level.
"Santa Fe is very disciplined and their coach always does a great job coming up with a game plan, but we adjusted. That's the big thing in basketball. You have to be able to adjust, and when we did our guys came out and listened to what we were telling them and then they did it so that's huge."
Malcom Stevenson led all scorers with 19 points.
The Eagles (4-0, No. 9 FCSAA) return to action Saturday against Indian River State College (3-0) at 2 p.m. in Winter Haven.