OCALA—NJCAA No. 15 College of Central Florida men's basketball team knocked off NJCAA No. 5/ FCSAA No. 2 Eastern Florida State College on Saturday night at Patriot Gym to open up Mid-Florida Conference play.
The 2017 NCJAA Div. I Runner-ups knocked off the Patriots in the first round of the FCSAA State Basketball Tournament a year ago.
CF was not going to allow the Titans to upstage them at home again.
CF (15-3, 1-0 MFC) came out firing on all cylinders dropping 64 points in the first half, including eight 3-pointers from Van Turner Jr., to lead EFSC by 24 at the half. Eastern Florida cut the deficit to just six points with 1:30 remaining, but the Patriots held on to upset the nation's No. 5 team 101-91.
CF is just the second team this year to score 100 or more points against EFSC, who is holding opponents to just 65.8 points per game. Miami Dade College scored 102 points against the Titans on Nov. 20.
As a team, the Patriots shot 53 percent from the field (1st half- 61%), 17 percent more than what opponents are averaging against the state's top defense this year. On the defensive side of the ball, CF held EFSC's shooters to just four three-point shots made. EFSC is averaging 11.8 3-pointers per game, which ranks No. 2 in the state.
Turner Jr. led all scorers with 27 points, while Antwan Maxwell Jr. recorded his fourth double-double (10 pts, 10 reb) in the win. Other key contributors include: Kevin Hunt Jr. (18 pts), Quenton Jackson (15 pts), Carlos Dotson (13 pts, 6 reb), and Xzavier Barmore (9 assists).
CF will travel to Florida State College at Jacksonville on Wednesday before welcoming Daytona State College for a conference doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 13. The CF women's basketball team will tipoff at 5:30, followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.