EFSC: Titan Men Find a Way, Extend Home Court Winning Streak to 52
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern Florida State // November 25, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Over the course of a 52-game home court winning streak there are going to be beauties and there are going to be beasts.
And while Eastern Florida’s 63-58 victory over St. Petersburg College on Tuesday wouldn’t qualify for Frankenstein status it wouldn’t win any beauty pageants either.
Eastern Florida ran its Titan Field House winning streak to 52 games and its season record to 9-1 despite being stone cold from the three-point line (making only two) and sloppy from the free throw line (17-for-28).
St. Petersburg fell to 5-5. Eastern Florida returns to action following the Thanksgiving break by playing at St. Petersburg at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2.
“This was a tough game after adversity on Saturday (a 71-69 loss at South Georgia State),” said Eastern Florida head coach Jeremy Shulman.
“And with thoughts of Thanksgiving and seeing families a few hours from now. I’m not pleased with our guys but we had enough guys that showed some real guile, some real toughness and we found a way.
“Great teams have to find a way when they don’t play well, we don’t make shots, we don’t make free throws, we don’t make threes. We found a way.”
St. Petersburg led early, 13-5 with 14 minutes and 39 seconds to play in the first half. Eastern Florida finally led, 16-15 on an Austin Awad basket at the 9:37 mark. Eastern Florida surrendered the advantage and didn’t lead again until Kareem Brewton scored twice to make it 24-22 with 6:35 to go.
Eastern Florida never trailed again, building a 42-32 lead on an Awad bucket with 14:23 to play.
St. Petersburg refused to wilt and got back to within 48-46 with 7:51 remaining.
But Eastern Florida’s Djordje Beronja, who finished with a team-high 20 points, got free inside for four key baskets and it was 58-50 with 4:08 to play.
From there the Titans weathered several turnovers and St. Petersburg threats to hold a 60-56 lead with 2:50 to go.
Eastern Florida’s Jon Martin countered with two key free throws in the final 1:30 after Eastern Florida went 2 minutes and seven seconds without a point and C.J. Jackson with sank a third with 10 seconds remaining for the final margin.
B.J. Gladden added 14 points for Eastern Florida.
“It was a tough one, Gladden said. “Playing at home ranked teams come at you hard. We didn’t come out ready like we should have.”
Beronja echoed Gladden.
“It was a tough game,” he said. “St. Pete is a good team, they move real well. Once again we had a good game. We had a tough weekend in Georgia behind us. It’s nice to win another home game. We just keep going. I hope we don’t lose this year.”
As for his success inside: “Spacing, move the ball well and I’m always open,” he said.