Ocala, Florida –The Indian River State College (IRSC) Men's Basketball Team lost their first round game in the FCSAA Region 8 Basketball Championship Tournament, 109-71. The Pioneers took on the number one team in the NJCAA National Poll, Florida Southwestern which had a 28-1 record.
IRSC was able to stay close most of the first half and held the lead several times early in the game. Micah Johnson made a nice pass to Charlie Daniels, which led to a layup giving IRSC an 11-7 lead with 15:57 to go in the first half. The score was tied 22-22 with 10:16 on the clock and Southwestern held a 5 point lead 32-27 with 8:19. The Pioneers had a difficult time taking care of the basketball in the remaining minutes of the half and committed 11 turnovers in the first half allowing Southwestern to increase the lead to 57-37 at halftime.
IRSC did cut Southwestern's lead to 15 on a driving lay-up by Daniels, but that was as close as the score would be for the remainder of the contest. Southwestern's length, 12 players over 6'5", gave the Pioneers trouble, causing them to shoot a dismal 42.4% from the field while Southwestern shot 53.7%. IRSC did a better job with the basketball in the second half only turning the ball over 3 times for a total of 14 for the game.
Charlie Daniels was one of the bright spots for the Pioneers as he scored 19 points on 9-16 shooting from the field. Micah Johnson scored 13 points and pulled in 12 rebounds with Kimani Binder and Jai Clark both adding 11. IRSC finished the season with a 20-11 record, their second 20 win season in as many seasons. Even though things didn't end the way the Pioneers wanted, it was a successful season, "I'm really proud of these kids, back-to-back playoff appearances and 20 win seasons is quite an accomplishment", state IRSC Head Coach Charlie Wilson.