CLINTON, S.C. - The Presbyterian College men’s basketball team grabbed its first win of the season on Monday night by knocking off the Toccoa Falls Eagles in PC’s home opener at Templeton Center, 86-76.
PC improves to 1-3 on the year and will next play at Old Dominion on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Norfolk, Va. Toccoa Falls moves to 0-5.
Reggie Dillard (Greensboro, N.C.) set a new Division I-era record with 12 assists on the night and posted his first career double-double with 14 points. William Truss (Vestavia Hills, Ala.) also tallied 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for another Blue Hose double-double. Truss’s six blocks against the Eagles mark a career-best for the junior as well, part of 10 team blocks that set another Division I-era record.
Jordan Downing (Huntersville, N.C.) led PC scorers with 21 points.
The Blue Hose overcame a hot-shooting Eagles team, who went 46.3 percent (31-for-67) from the floor. Toccoa Falls slashed an eight-point PC lead late in the game to only one point with 2:16 to go, but the Blue Hose responded with nine unanswered points to close out the win.
After a Derek Westfall jumper made it a 77-76 game, Downing knocked down a three-pointer at the top of the key to extend the lead to four. Downing then hit two free throws before Markus Terry (Johns Creek, Ga.) threw down a dunk to restore PC’s advantage to eight. Another pair of Downing free throws iced the win for the Blue Hose.
The two sides played a close first half to a Toccoa Falls 37-35 lead at halftime. The Eagles used a 43.8 shooting percentage (14-for-32) while PC countered with 10 points, eight assists and three blocks from Truss in the opening stanza. A Downing three-pointer followed by a rebound on the other end and a three-pointer from the redshirt junior gave the Blue Hose seven points of breathing room early in the contest.
A pair of Truss free throws pushed PC’s lead to nine points just 4:27 into the half but the Eagles began to chip away. Down 21-13, Toccoa Falls used seven straight points—capped by a short Nathan Palmer jumper—to trim PC’s lead to one midway through the half. Palmer tied the game at 22-22 with a layup following a Downing free throw.
The Blue Hose opened its lead back up to four on a Will Adams three (Johnson City, Tenn.), but the Eagles clawed back and eventually took a 37-33 lead shortly before half. A pair of Ed Drew (Suffolk, Va.) free throws cut the advantage in half and sent the teams into the locker room with Toccoa Falls ahead, 37-35.
PC came charging out of the break, rattling off a 20-8 lead to open the half through the first 5:05 of the period. Dillard, Adams and Downing knocked down long-range shots during the run and Terry unleashed a fastbreak dunk to give the Blue Hose a nine-point lead.
Toccoa Falls eventually worked its way back into the game with scoring help from Josh Barrett, who ended the night with a team-leading 22 points. The visitors continued to push before the Blue Hose closed out the Eagles and took home the win.