Ocala, Florida – The Indian River State College (IRSC) Men's Basketball Team had a very successful weekend at the Florida Juco Shoot-Out going 2-0 and advancing their record to 11-2. In the opening game of the day the Pioneers took on a battle tested Polk State College. Polk State brought a three game winning streak into the contest with wins over state ranked opponents, Eastern Florida, Palm Beach State, and Central Florida.
The contest saw several lead changes before IRSC took a 7 point lead into the half 37-30 on a Jai Clark three-point basket. Polk State refused to give up and tied the game at 66 on a lob pass from the top of the key in which the bucket was made and a foul called with 9.7 seconds to go and a chance to pull ahead by one with a made free-throw. The free-throw by Polk State was missed and DeJuan Lockett was fouled on the rebound and was sent to the line with 9.4 seconds remaining. Lockett cashed in both free-throws to give IRSC a 68-66 advantage. Polk State got one more chance for the win, but was unable to connect on the three-point attempt which caromed wide.
The Pioneers only had two players in double figures, Kimani Binder with 21 and DeJuan Locket with 13 points, none bigger than the two free-throws with 9.4 seconds remaining to give IRSC the win. Charlie Daniels led IRSC in rebounding with 13.
IRSC played State College of Florida-Manatee in the last game of the shoot-out at 8 p.m. Sunday evening. This was the third meeting between the teams with the Pioneers winning both of the previous games. Too many turnovers allowed Manatee to take the early lead, but IRSC managed to tie the game at half, 42-42.
It was a different team in the second half for the Pioneers, who came out of the locker-room ready to play. IRSC went on a 10-0 run to start the half with a couple of three-point baskets by Kahleel Ellis-Garcia and Kimani Binder. "We came out of the locker-room with more intensity and did a much better job of moving the basketball", stated IRSC Head Coach Charlie Wilson. The Pioneers increased the lead to 18 points with two minutes to go on an out of bounds lob pass to Charlie Daniels as the shot clock expired, 95-77. IRSC finished the weekend with a 98-82 win.
Top scorers for IRSC were Binder with 25, Ellis-Garcia 20, Lockett 17, Daniels 17, and Clark with 12. Daniels and Ellis-Garcia combined for 22 of the teams 52 rebounds.
"Anytime you can win two games at the shoot-out, it is a good weekend! We stayed together when things weren't going our way and got the job done", pointed out Coach Wilson.