MARIANNA -- Hindered by a lack of size and depth, the State College of Florida fell short Thursday, losing to College of Central Florida 90-77 in the opening round of the men's state junior college basketball tournament at Chipola College.
The taller Patriots, ranked No. 8 in the nation, outscored SCF 24-12 on second-chance points and, perhaps most importantly, their bench outscored SCF's 32-5.
Suncoast Conference Player of The Year Isaiah Williams kept the Manatees close with deadly long-range shooting. SCF trailed 42-39 at intermission.
The Manatees wore down in the second half when College of Central Florida dominated the offensive glass and started to get run-outs for easy layups.
Williams, who has signed to play for Iona College next year, led the Manatees with 31 points, torching the nets from 3-point land by knocking down 9 of 13 attempts. He connected on 11 of 15 shots overall.
SCF's 6-foot-7 freshman, Obinna Oleka, who has been playing his best basketball over the past several weeks, tallied 29 points (8-27 shooting) and led the Manatees with 12 rebounds.
SCF wasn't able to get much production from the rest of its lineup. The only other Manatees to dent the
scoring column were Savad Garner (10 points), Daunte Johnson (5) and point guard Michael Sanchez (2).
Sanchez, who came into the game averaging 14.8 points per game, missed all six of his attempts from beyond the arc and shot 1 for 8 overall. The Manatees were 25-of-74 from the field (33.8 percent), and College of Central Florida shot 35-of-79 (44.3 percent). Outside of Williams, the rest of the SCF lineup shot 24 percent, connecting on 14 of 59 field-goal attempts.
The Manatees fell short of their season average in several categories. They came into the game leading the nation in scoring at 98.3 points per game and were first in assists (23.8 avg). They had 16 assists for the game.
The Patriots (28-3) had five players in double figures led by Rodell Washington's 20 points. Its big man, 6-8 Eugene McCrory, had 10 rebounds and 13 points.
SCF's record on the court was 24-8, but it was forced to forfeit 18 of those games.