TK Smith scores 21 as Eagles beat St. Pete in final seconds

TK Smith shoots over Keondre Jackson of St. Petersburg. Smith led all scorers with 21 points, and his last-second free throws gave Polk State a 69-64 win. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
TK Smith shoots over Keondre Jackson of St. Petersburg. Smith led all scorers with 21 points, and his last-second free throws gave Polk State a 69-64 win. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

Tekorian "TK" Smith hit four clutch free throws in the final seconds, giving Polk State a 69-64 win over St. Petersburg tonight in Winter Haven.  

The Eagles had a 65-64 lead with 20 seconds remaining when Smith was fouled and sank two free throws for a 67-64 lead. 

After St. Petersburg missed a three-point shot, the Titans fouled Smith again with 4  seconds left. Once again he made both free throws, giving Polk State the 69-64 victory. 

After taking a 33-32 lead into halftime, the Eagles jumped out to a 47-38 advantage in the second half. The Titans, however refused to quit, tying the score at 60 with 3:50 to play.  

Leading 63-62, the Eagles took a timeout with 1:44 left. Clarence Jackson then grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to give Polk State a 65-62 advantage.  

The Titans then made a pair of free throws, cutting the lead to 65-64 and setting the stage for Smith's last-second foul shots.  

With the win, the Eagles improved to 1-1 in the Suncoast Conference. 

"This was a big win for us," said Head Coach Brandon Giles. "Our guys found a way to figure it out down the stretch.  

"We got a lot of stops defensively in this game. At times we looked like our old selves in terms of playing defense, although we didn't always go down and execute the right way on offense, but the big part was figuring it out down the stretch and coming away with the win."  

Smith led all scorers with 21 points to go with four rebounds and four assists. 

Jackson posted a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. 

Tommie Lewis shot 4-for-4 from the field, finishing with 15 points, four rebounds, and four assists.  

The Eagles (13-5, 1-1, No. 8 FCSAA) continue Suncoast Conference play Wednesday against Hillsborough Community College at 7 p.m. in Tampa. 

 

Jan 22
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
vs. State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Blackout Game Winter Haven, FL
Jan 25
Men's Basketball 2:00 PM
vs. Impact Academy
Winter Haven, FL
Jan 29
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
at St. Petersburg College
St. Petersburg, FL
Feb 01
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
vs. Hillsborough Community College
Feb 05
Men's Basketball 7:30 PM
at Florida Southwestern State College
Fort Myers, FL
Feb 08
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Mentor Appreciation Night Bradenton, FL
Feb 15
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
vs. St. Petersburg College
Greek Day Winter Haven, FL
CONF ALL

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