Titans Topple Broward To Earn Conference Title

By  //  February 21, 2013

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BCC Meets Santa Fe In Regionals On March 7

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Shaking off a sluggish first-half performance, Brevard Community College’s men’s basketball squad turned on the afterburners and defeated Broward College 66-63 in a historical win for the program.

BCC co-captain Addison Spruill was honored before Wednesday night’s men’s basketball game against Broward College as part of Sophomore Night festivities. (Image by Ed Pierce)

The victory earned the Titans their first Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference championship since the 1999-2000 season and qualifies BCC for the top seed in the FCSAA/NJCAA Division I Region 8 tournament at Chipola College in Marianna starting March 7.

BCC (24-6 overall, 10-2 conference), will meet Santa Fe, the Mid-Florida Conference runner-up, in the regionals.

Getting past Broward (17-12 overall, 4-8 conference) on Wednesday wasn’t easy.

The two squads had split the season series coming into the matchup with BCC beating Broward 70-68 in Melbourne on Jan. 26, with Broward prevailing 87-78 at Davie on Feb. 6.

Following a three-pointer by freshman Deshawn Richmond with 4:07 remaining in the first half, the Seahawks led BCC, 25-21.

But the Titans rallied in the final 2:13 of the half to take a 31-27 lead into intermission thanks to eight points from Jure Gunjina on two three-pointers and two free throws. Gunjina led BCC in the game with 14 points.

Brevard Community College will now be adding 2013 to its conference championship banner following Wednesday night’s 66-63 win over Broward College. It is the first conference title since the 1999-2000 season for the Titans. (Image by ed Pierce)

“I’ll be honest, we gutted it out,” BCC coach Jeremy Shulman said. “We were never able to get that rhythm and our victory tonight was a testament to our toughness and our mental will to find a way to win in the end.”

In the second half, BCC started strong and crafted a 44-36 lead with 13:55 remaining to play by cashing in on several Broward turnovers, including three free throws from sophomore guard Nyles Evans and a layup by freshman forward Mike Kirkland.

With 8 minutes left, the Seahawks trimmed BCC’s advantage to four points (52-48) and continued to pour it on down the stretch, as Titans center Gary Gary and shooting guard Evans fouled out.

In the final minute, Broward cut BCC’s lead to 64-63 as Richmond sank three free throws with 36 seconds left and had a chance to win when Brevard’s Luka Pajkovic missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw attempt and Richmond grabbed the rebound.

The Seahawks then missed a contested shot at the basket and BCC’s Addison Spruill grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 2.1 seconds on the clock. Spruill hit two free throws and the Titans claimed a 66-63 win.

“We were a little flat at the start, but if you can’t get up for a game with the conference title on the line, you probably don’t belong here,” Evans said after the game. “At halftime Coach Shulman told us to relax and play our game. We knew what was at stake and we stepped up and made it happen.”

Shulman said BCC’s play in the final minutes was a reflection of how the team has played all year.

“I so proud of these guys,” he said. “We somehow once again found a way to win and that’s what we have done all season and again here tonight.”