OCALA-- The College of Central Florida men's basketball team dropped its first conference game to Eastern Florida State College, falling 65-64 in the final seconds on Wednesday night at Patriot Gym.
The FCSAA No. 5 Patriots (15-8) took a one-point lead into the half, but the Titans came out firing at the start of the second half, going up by as many as 14 points.
But CF countered with a run of its own.
Less than two minutes left on the clock, CF trailed EFSC by one, 63-62. Sophomore guard Jeremy Shepperd drove the lane and threw up a floater to give CF a 64-63 edge with 1:37 to go.
EFSC's sophomore forward Ilija Stefanovic tied things up 64-64 after making 1-of-2 free throw attempts off a Patriot foul from Rifen Miguel.
With seven seconds to go, and what appeared to be overtime looming, Patriots' sophomore guard Quenton Jackson was stripped of the ball while driving to the basket and the Titans headed the other way. EFSC's Ayo Dada drove inside the paint and drew the foul with 0.8 seconds left. Dada sank the winning free throw, going 1-for-2 at the line, to help the Titans edge out the Patriots by one point.
With the loss, CF is now 4-1 in Mid-Florida Conference play and is 1-1 against EFSC this season.
CF will return to action when it travels to Florida State College at Jacksonville on Saturday for a road doubleheader. The women will tipoff at 2 p.m., followed by the men at 4 p.m. at FCSJ's south campus.