Patriots soar past Eagles

Patriots soar past Eagles

OCALA--The College of Central Florida men's basketball team used an early surge in the second half on its way to knocking off Polk State 71-66 at home on Wednesday night.

With the win, CF (17-5) improved to 12-0 at home.

A technical foul on the Patriots early in the second half ignited an 11-0 run, which put them ahead by 12.

CF, which trailed by as many as seven points, had taken the lead at 32-30 on a layup by Eddy Polanco with 1.5 seconds left before halftime.

The Patriots extended their edge to as many as 15 in the second half, but Polk (14-6) responded with an 8-0 run and got to within seven with five minutes remaining.

From there, CF got a 3-pointer from Kevin Maura that started a five-point swing and the hosts were never threatened the rest of the way.

Maura (17 points, six assists), Paul Turner (15 points), Brandon Tabb (14 points) and Polanco (12 points, seven rebounds) led the way for the Patriots.

CF made just 33.3 percent of its shots, but forced the Eagles into 18 turnovers and 38.9 shooting after halftime.

Polk didn't do itself any favors at the free throw line, as it made just 11-of-22, while CF made 16-of-21.

After being outrebounded by 12 in the first half, CF won the battle on the glass by six rebounds after halftime. The Patriots were also even in second-chance points after halftime, as they limited one of the Eagles down the stretch.

Up next for the Patriots is a home game against rival Santa Fe College on Saturday night at 7:30. CF has won 21 of the last 23 meetings with the Saints.

Prior to the men's game, the CF women will face SFC at 5:30 p.m.