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Eastern Florida Men Break Away for 93-71 Victory
Dec. 6, 2013 - With 10 minutes and 12 seconds to play in Friday night's game in the Melbourne Campus gym Eastern Florida's men's basketball team had seen the 19-point lead it held over Cape Fear Community College just 5:35 earlier evaporate to just five.
What was a 57-38 lead was 61-56. But by the time the clock hit 5:03 to go the lead was 80-64 and Eastern Florida was well on its way to a 93-71 victory over the visitors from North Carolina. The triumph, the Titans seventh straight, moved their record to 8-1 and marked their 22nd consecutive home court victory.
Cape Fear, which plays Palm Beach State at 1 p.m. Saturday in Melbourne, fell to 5-6. Eastern Florida plays Florida State College Jacksonville at 3 p.m. Admission is free.
Sophomore Torrance Rowe led the Titans with 35 points, 15 on three-pointers. Freshman Demetrius McReynolds, who continues to come into his own, added 20.
"We had some guys step up and they made a run and we stopped sleepwalking for a little bit," said Eastern Florida head coach Jeremy Shulman. "My hat goes off to Cape Fear. Well coached and a very hard working team. They outplayed us for 30 minutes of the game. We finally woke up and had some guys make some plays.
"We got it done. It was the defensive effort. We finally got some stops, got a couple rebounds, found transition and we found a set play on offense that gave us some buckets as well."
Rowe had 15 points in the first half – the Titans led 46-30 at the break - and stayed hot.
"I knew he was playing well in the first half and we just kept riding him," Shulman said of Rowe. "I'm not the smartest coach in the world but I know if someone's hot you keep feeding him the ball."
As for McReynolds: "Meech just gets it done," Shulman said referring to McReynolds' nickname. "He's the unsung hero of this team. Steady, consistent."
The same can be said of the Titans as a whole – with a dash of relentless effort thrown in. That's what Rowe credited for the run that sealed Friday's game and also for his breakout effort.
"I started off rough," said Rowe who came into Friday averaging 9.7 points per game in seven outings. "I stayed in the gym working on my shot. Coach has confidence in me so I just have to go ahead and perform. Coach put me in a great position to score so I just capitalized on it."
Just as the Titans capitalized on the openings Cape Fear gave them.
"We're relentless, we refuse to give up," Rowe said. "We keep fighting. We're just relentless. We practice hard, tough, real physical so we can prepare. It shows."