Men's basketball team faces Chipola in state semifinal tonight

Men's basketball team faces Chipola in state semifinal tonight

The Eastern Florida State College men's basketball team heads into the FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII State Tournament semifinals on a 10-game winning streak. 

But that streak will be put to the test Friday night against Chipola College who come into the tournament No. 9 in the latest NJCAA Division I poll. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the College of Central Florida in Ocala and can be seen live online.

The Titans defeated the State College of Florida Manatee on Thursday night 77-71 behind some timely rebounds and baskets. Freshman Jonathan Ned came off the bench to score 11 points and grab eight rebounds while sophomore Jalen Warren continued to pace the Titans with 24 points and seven assists. 

Chipola comes into the contest 27-4 on the season and has won five straight after defeating Southern Conference champion Palm Beach State College 75-72 in a quarterfinal game.

The Indians are led by sophomore Keishawn Brewton who scored 28 points against Palm Beach State in the opener and has come up big down the stretch, scoring at least 25 points in each of the past four games. On the season the guard averages 19 points per game.

The teams have met twice in the state tournament under head coach Jeremy Shulman, splitting the two games.

All four teams still alive in the Region VIII semifinals are ranked in the top 25 in the nation as No. 1 Florida Southwestern plays No. 8 Northwest Florida State in the first semifinal at 6 p.m. The championship game will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Ocala.