The Eastern Florida State College men's basketball team did something they have never done in the program's history.
The Titans won their final game of the season.
Eastern Florida State College defeated Vincennes University 87-74 in the third-place game of the NJCAA National Championship Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas on Saturday night.
"It's really sweet for this team," Eastern Florida State College men's basketball coach Jeremy Shulman said. "Obviously our goal was a national championship, but you want to talk about an unbelievable consolation prize … to be in that locker room after the heartbreak of yesterday, to be in that locker room and have a celebration. We had said we are only going to celebrate once this trip and we just got to celebrate."
The Titans made sure they got to celebrate, taking the lead six minutes into the game on a Ruot Monyyong basket and never gave it up.
"Vincennes is a fantastic team, I just thought our guys fought through the fatigue, fought through the grind of four games in five days and really answered the bell with a lot of toughness and character."
The second half belonged to the Titans as they were able to stretch the lead to double digits on two different occasions in the second half. Ahmed Ali hit a 3-pointer with 4:19 to go to give the Titans a 12-point lead.
"I am so blessed and grateful to be in this position to win our final game, but the thing is I am also sad. I don't know how to feel right now because it is my last game here," said Ali who finished with 19 points. "Back to back 30-win years! I was telling Junior that it is a coincidence – I wear No. 23 and we finished second last year and third this year."
The team celebrated the win with players and families from Lincoln Elementary School as well as others from Florida who came to cheer on the Titans who finish the season 30-5 overall and have placed in the top three in the nation the past two seasons.
Sophomore Michael Nuga was named to the all-tournament team following South Plains win in the championship game.