"This was a tough week for us, we had opportunities to win both games this week, but failed to capitalize on our opportunities," commented IRSC Head Coach Charlie Wilson.
The game began with Coach Wilson honoring the sophomores for their hard work and dedication to the program. Sophomores honored before the game were Willy Nunez (6'6' Guard, Orlando, FL), Jaylin Stewart (6'7" Forward, Tallahassee, FL), Shaun Willett (6'4" Guard, Palm Bay, FL), Elijah Farley (5'8" Guard, Orlando, FL), Devon Collins (6'5" Forward, Tallahassee, FL), Joshua Oliver (6'8" Forward, Jacksonville, FL), and Andrew Anderson (6'5" Forward, Brampton, Ontario). Nunez, Farley, Oliver, and Anderson were all part of Wilson's first recruiting class. "I am very proud of these young men, they have helped raise our program to another level," stated Coach Wilson.
IRSC started off slow taking 5 possessions before being able to score on a high low play to 6'8" freshmen Shaq Rombley (Alachua, FL) from Joshua Oliver. The lack of offensive execution and careless passes caused the Pioneers to get behind early in the game 18-9. Jaylin Stewart hit a three-point shot to bring IRSC to within three points 20-17 with under 10 minutes to go in the first half. The Pioneers kept fighting back and tied the score with 5 minutes at 27-27, but Broward connected on two three-point shots of their own increasing their half time lead to 45-41.
IRSC battled back and regained the lead 58-57 on a Shaun Willett drive with 12:03 to go in the game. Broward quickly called time-out and regrouped. The lead changed hands several times in the next few minutes with the score being tied 65-65 with 8:20 remaining in the game. With 6:35 left in the contest Broward drove to the basket and collided with Shaun Willett drawing a foul on the play. Willett who was injured on the play left the game with an Achilles injury and did not return to the action. This was a turning point in the game due to the fact Willett is one of the top scorers and rebounders for the Pioneers.
Cedric Jackson (6'3" Guard, Orlando, FL) hit a three-point basket to bring IRSC to within one point with 1:31 left at 77-76 and scored a field goal on the Pioneers next possession to give the home team a one point lead. Broward missed the shot, but was fouled on the offensive rebound, and they converted 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game. IRSC had one more chance for the win, but Nunez missed a three point attempt at the buzzer.
Broward scored a three-point basket off the tip in overtime and never looked back. Leading scorers for The River were Nunez with 24 points, followed by Willett with 14, and Joshua Oliver chipped in 14. The loss dropped IRSC's record to 17-10 and 8-6 in the Southern Conference. The Pioneers will travel to Palm Beach State on Wednesday the 22nd for their last regular season game. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m.