The Eastern Florida State College men's basketball team is heading to the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament quarterfinals for the third straight year.
The Titans held off No. 7 Seward County Community College 67-59 Tuesday night at Hutchinson, Kansas, snapping the Saints 11-game win streak.
"So proud of these guys, this team never ceases to amaze me, they keep finding a way, finding ways to surprise me and it is just a special team to coach," Eastern Florida State College men's basketball coach Jeremy Shulman said. "I thought our defense was good for the majority of the game, rebounding was phenomenal. They made their run, and they are one of the best teams in the country. Down the stretch we clamped down and defense and rebounding wins games."
Eastern Florida State College hit six 3-pointers in the first half and took a 12-point lead into halftime, leading 34-22.
"We have a great shooting team, we kind of get away from it sometimes but we are a great shooting team and we took the right shot in the first half," Shulman said.
The Titans would extend the lead to 19 on a Jonathan Ned 3-pointer, giving the Titans a 52-33 lead with 10:50 remaining. But Seward would go on a 21-4 run in the next six minutes and with 3:35 left cut the lead to just two points.
The game would remain tight until the final minute when Nick Stampley stood his ground, causing an offensive foul. From there the Titans hit 6-of-8 free throws to lock up the win.
"Coach Shulman preaches defense and I saw an opportunity to take one of the biggest charges of my life and I took it. I saw he beat his guy and I just stepped up," Stampley said. "This win means a lot but there is still some work to be done."
Eastern Florida State College will play No. 2 South Plains for the third straight season at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday. South Plains defeated Trinity Valley 82-75 to advance to the quarterfinals. Fans can watch the game live online at njcaatv.com. A single broadcast is $4.99 and the championship tournament pass is $14.99.