MONTGOMERY, AL - Faulkner blistered the nets for the second time this season against Talladega, but had to fight off the Tornadoes in the second half to escape with a 87-73 victory Monday night at Tine Davis Gymnasium.
After shooting 71 percent in a win over the Tornadoes in November, the Eagles (16-10) shot 55 percent in the rematch. Faulkner needed the excellent shooting night to counter its struggles with the basketball, having committed 30 turnovers in the game. The Eagles did dominate the backboard, outrebounding the Tornadoes 43-29.
Faulkner led by 10 at the break and quickly stretched the lead to 13 early in the second half before Talladega (13-13) caught fire. A 16-2 run – sparked by seven points from Kerry Harvis – gave the Tornadoes a 58-57 lead with 12:32 left. Faulkner, however, regained the lead on a Randell Moore basket and never looked back, building as much as a 17-point advantage in the final minutes.
The Eagles were able to keep the visitors at bay from the free-throw line, making 18 in the second half alone.
"Talladega is a very talented basketball team, and this is a good win for us," said Faulkner coach Jim Sanderson about the Tornadoes, who recently led undefeated and top-ranked Mountain State deep into the second half before dropping a close decision. "We had that lull again, but we stayed after it. We're still struggling with our transition defense, and that's something we have to improve if we're going to be as good as we can be."
Chris Palmore led five Eagles in double figures with 15 points. Camille Ngon 'a Ngon and Moore added 14 apiece, De Hereford finishing with 11 and Adam Okechukwu 10. Kerry Harvis had 21 for Talladega, who also got 13 points from Micah Hagens and 12 each from Ramondo Banks and Kenneth Irby.