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BCC Outlasts, Upsets Palm Beach State, 73-66
January 16, 2013 - In one of the biggest victories in the last 13 seasons of Brevard Community College men's basketball the Titans on Wednesday upset previously unbeaten and No. 2-nationally ranked Palm Beach State College 73-66 in the Melbourne Campus gym.
BCC scored the first basket and with the exception of a basket by Palm Beach star center, 6-foot, 9-inch Jonathan Holton that tied the game at 2-2, the Titans led the entire way. They improved to 16-4 overall and more importantly 2-0 in the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference.
Palm Beach fell to 20-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference in as physical and contentious a game that BCC head coach Jeremy Shulman could recall. The nature of the game resulted in Palm Beach being whistled for three technical fouls, two against freshman Demetric Austin who was ejected.
The game see-sawed back and forth with BCC building double-digit leads in the first and second half only to see Palm Beach come roaring back.
BCC built a 15-point lead, 60-45, on a Jure Gunjina bucket with 6 minutes and 52 seconds to play only to see Palm Beach get within three points, 69-66 on a Holton three-pointer from the left corner with 39.9 seconds to go.
But BCC sophomore co-captain Nyles Evans sank two free throws with 25.9 seconds to play after BCC barely beat the 10-second count to get the ball over half court when Shulman called a time out.
Evans' free throws made it 71-66 and sophomore Luka Pajkovic sealed in with a layup for the final margin.
But that BCC was even in position to win was due in part to a clutch three-pointer from Gunjina with 1:28 to go that made it 67-59.
"Just a regular shot," Gunjina said with a shy smile. "I do it all the time, every practice, every day."
Those rigorous practices were cited by co-captain Addison Spruill, Evans and Shulman as being the difference.
"It was the biggest game of the season, we fought through it," Spruill said. "You've got to play hard and tough.
"That's what coach is best at, scouting them very well. He's a great coach. He knows what's he's doing."
Added Evans: "It took guts, a lot of guts. Preparation. Coach prepared us well, as always. Those two things, it's hard to beat."
Shulman cited toughness as well.
"They out toughed us on the boards and we out toughed them on a few other things," Shulman said. "I'm really proud of the effort. Our effort and energy were great. We stay disciplined and we executed."
Evans led BCC with 15 points while Spruill contributed 14. Six-foot, 10-inch sophomore center Gary Gaskins scored eight points, pulled down seven offensive rebounds and 10 overall and blocked seven Palm Beach shots.
Holton was the only Palm Beach player in double figures scoring wise with 25 points.
Things don't get any easier for BCC as the conference schedule continues. The Titans visit Miami Dade College on Saturday and then face home games at 7 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 23 against arch rival Indian River State College and 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 against Broward College.
The BCC-Palm Beach rematch is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 in Lake Worth. The teams play for the third time in the regular season at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 in Melbourne.