Second Half Surge Lifts Falcons Over Santa Fe College
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Early in the first half of Wednesday night's game when Coach Ridder called his second timeout just five minutes into play after Santa Fe Saints extended their lead to 8, many were left to wonder if the Falcons' 12 home game winning streak would come to an end.
The two early timeouts stabilized the Falcons. The remainder of the first half was a back and forth battle, producing eight lead changes and leaving the Falcons trailing at the half, 30-29.
However, the true story of the night was the effort and intensity of the Falcons on defense and on the boards. The Falcons outrebounded the Saints by a margin of 48-37 for the game, including three players in double digits; Ayinde Sprewell (13 rebounds), Tanksley Efianayi (10 rebounds), and Will Ransom (10 rebounds).
The ability of the Falcons to hold the Saints to one shot possessions, to push the ball in transition, and to share the ball in the second half allowed the Falcons to capture a 13 point lead with just under 10 minutes to play in the game.
The balanced offensive attack for the Falcons included four in double figures, led
Efianayi (18 points), Sprewell (17 points), Rashaun Stimage (14 points), and Dylan Poston (13 points).
Late in the second half, Sante Fe made a run after a huge three by the Saint's guard, Jonathon Hood, and increased full-court defensive pressure by the Saints. The Falcons withstood the rally and closed the game making several key free-throws down the stretch to extend their home win streak to 13 games with a final 71-64 victory.
Coach Ridder stated, "We really took a big step forward tonight with the way we closed the game under a lot of pressure from a really quality opponent and it took a total team effort."
The Falcons travel to Jacksonville Saturday afternoon to take on the Waves of Florida State College Jacksonville at 4pm for another tough conference matchup. The Blue Waves defeated defending National Champions, College of Central of Florida, Wednesday night 72-67 in overtime.