Indians knock off #3 Northwest Florida on the road

Indians knock off #3 Northwest Florida on the road

In the first meeting between the two Panhandle rivals, Northwest Florida's Brennan Rigsby lit up the Indians from three-point range en route to a 23 point night in an 84-54 win for the Raiders. In the second meeting, Chipola clamped down on the Raider's offense, and came away with a 50-47 win, holding Northwest Florida to its lowest point total of the season.

On Wednesday night at Raider Arena, the game started similar to that cold night back in January as Rigsby buried a three to give the Raiders an early lead. It would be their last lead of the game.

Nae'Qwan Tomlin cut the lead to one on a drive to the basket for an easy layup. On the Indians' next possession, Faizon Fields picked up a loose ball and slammed it down to give the Indians a 4-3 lead.

Chipola pushed the lead out to 12-6 when the Raiders took their first of three timeouts in a one minute span. The Indians answered following the first two timeouts with a steal and layup on the other end, first by Deyton Albury and then by Manzie Wilson to take a 16-6 lead, their biggest of the first half.

With just under six minutes left to play in the first half, the Raiders cut the Chipola lead to two, 24-22, on a pair of free throws. 

The Indians stretched the lead back out to nine with 3:30 left to play in the first half on an old-fashioned three-point play by Achor Achor.

At the end of the first half, Chipola led Northwest Florida, 37-31. Indians shot 70% from the floor in the first half, including 3-5 from three-point range. Northwest Florida was 9-22 from the floor with most of their made shots coming from behind the arc (5-12 for 41.7%).

Indians came out of the locker room and pushed the lead to twelve on a pair of three pointers by Chipola big men, Tomlin and Fields.

Northwest Florida managed to cut the lead to single digits with 12:30 remaining on a put-back slam from Tre Clark but Tomlin answered on the next Chipola possession with his third three-point basket of the night.

With 5:44 remaining in the game, Tomlin hit a pair of free throws to give the Indians their biggest lead of the night, 70-52.

At the 3:40 mark and Chipola leading by 16, Northwest Florida cleared the bench and went on an 8-2 run over the next two minutes to cut the Chipola lead to 73-63, but never got closer.

The Indians finished the game at the free throw line making 10-of-12 shots in the remaining minutes for the 83-67 win.

Achor Achor led the Indians with 16 points and 9 rebounds, just missing a double-double.

Four other Chipola players finished in double digits: Nae'Qwan Tomlin (15); Dontae Walker (13); Kris Gardner (11); Lance Erving (11); and Faizon Fields (11).

The Indians closed to within one game of Northwest Florida for the lead in the Panhandle Conference standings. Chipola did move their magic number to clinch a bid to the FCSAA Tournament to one game. A win in one of their last two games or a Gulf Coast loss will send the Indians back to the FSCAA Tournament to defend their 2021 title.

Chipola will play Pensacola State on Saturday night at The Milt in the final home game of the season. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM.

Game Notes

  • Indians shot 63.4% from the floor, their second highest percentage of the season and in the Coach Donnie Tyndall era (highest: January 4 vs. Tallahassee, 68.1%).
  • Indians also shot 62.5% from three-point range, the highest percentage since Tyndall took over in 2020-2021.
  • The Indians have won ten of their last eleven games in Raider Arena dating back to the 2018-2019 season.
  • In the Tyndall era, Chipola has a 6-1 record against three different Northwest Florida head coaches.