St. Pete punches ticket to Hutch

St. Petersburg College men's basketball
Photo courtesy of Tom Hagerty, Polk State College

OCALA, Fla. (March 11, 2017) - St. Petersburg College's men's basketball team is headed to Hutchinson, Kan.

The Titans knocked off Eastern Florida State College, 69-59, to win the FCSAA State/NJCAA District Basketball Tournament. 

With the win, St. Petersburg earned Region 8's automatic bid to the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas, March 20-25. 

St. Petersburg beat Tallahassee Community College (66-60) in the quarterfinals then survived an overtime affair with Daytona State College (80-76) in the semifinals just to reach Saturday's championship game. 

Sophomore Jason Burnell was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player and Earnest Crumbley was named FCSAA Coach of the Year. 

Despite the loss, Eastern Florida State snagged one of the four at-large berths to the national tournament, as did Northwest Florida State College, who lost to Eastern Florida State in the semifinals.