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Rejuvenated State College of Florida Awaits EFSC Men's Basketball Team

Dec. 2, 2013 - An owner of a five-game winning streak and a 6-1 overall record, Eastern Florida State College's men's basketball team begins a busy week with a Tuesday game at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

Tip-off is 7 p.m. in Bradenton. The game is a rematch of a 92-66 Eastern Florida victory on Nov. 25 that extended the Titans home winning streak to 21 games. The victory did not come easily. Eastern Florida did not put away the stubborn, scrappy Manatees until a four-minute, 17-2 run beginning with 6 minutes and 37 seconds to play.

The Manatees rebounded to break a season-opening nine-game losing streak with a 91-83 home court victory over Miami Dade College on Friday.

Manatees forwards Deonte Hearns (6-feet, 6-inches) and Obinna Oleka (6-7), playing together for the first time this season, combined for 49 points, 39 rebounds and 13 assists against Miami Dade. Hearns scored 18 points against the Titans.

Given the Manatees improvement Titans head coach Jeremy Shulman expects a much tougher game on Tuesday.

"We have a big test Tuesday night on the road, and our guys need to be focused and up to the challenge," Shulman said. "SCF is a very talented team that just now has its entire team back on the floor after injuries and off the court issues. With its full roster, SCF is as talented as almost anyone in the state, and will start players at 6-6, 6-8, and 6-10 along the front line. I'm excited to see how our guys respond to such a challenge against a big, talented team in a hostile environment."

Sophomore Shaheed Davis, a 6-9 forward, leads Eastern Florida in scoring, averaging 13.6 points per game. Freshman guard Demetrius McReynolds (6-2) is second at 13.3 and 6-8 sophomore Jure Gunjina third at 11.7. Freshman guard T.J. Cromer (6-3) is averaging 11.3 and 5-11 sophomore guard Torrance Rowe 10.2.

Sophomore Mike Kirkland (6-7) is the leading rebounder at 7.9 per game, followed by Gunjina at 6.7 and Davis at 6.6. Sophomore guard Ben Patrick (6-3) leads in assists with 5.

Beyond Tuesday Eastern Florida hosts Cape Fear (NC) Community College at 7 p.m. Friday and a rematch with Florida State College Jacksonville at 3 p.m. Saturday. Cape Fear plays Eastern Florida's Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference foe Palm Beach State College at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Cape Fear is 5-5; FSCJ is 5-4, including a 79-74 home court loss to the Titans on Nov. 13. Palm Beach is 7-2. All games are in the Melbourne Campus gym and admission is free.

Eastern Florida then hosts Tampa's TAAG Academy for a 7 p.m. Dec. 11 rematch that will be the final home game for the 2013 portion of the schedule. The Titans prevailed 80-53 on Nov. 16 in Melbourne.