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NJCAA Game 4: Florida State College at Jacksonville 89, Howard Community College 75

Mar. 18—DANVILLE — A balanced attack carried Florida State College at Jacksonville past Howard Community College 89-75 in a first-round contest at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament at the Mary Miller Center.

FSC-Jacksonville (26-8) had five players in double figures Monday afternoon as the Blue Wave shot an impressive 47.6 percent (30-of-63) from the field and 46.2 percent (12-of-26) from 3-point range.

"That's been a big part of our team this season and it's good to see it show up in the national tournament," said FSC-Jacksonville coach John Putrynski, who is a native of Chicago and a graduate of Illinois State University.

"We flew in Chicago and we were able to stop and get my favorite pizza at Beggars Pizza," he said. "And then we went down to Illinois State and got to have a practice on campus. It's been a really good homecoming for me."

But Putrynski, who have several family members and college friends in Danville, said the best part is getting a win in his team's first appearance in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

Tarence Guinyard was the leading scorer for the Blue Wave with 21 points, followed by Aiden Fletcher with 19 off the bench, Eddie Mitchell had 17, Jordan Smith scored 16 and Alex McCray chipped in with 12. Smith added a game-high 14 rebounds.

Sophomore Andrew Mills had a game-high 30 points for Howard (26-7) as he was an impressive 12-of-15 from the field and he also collected 12 rebounds. Ryan Conway had 16 points and John Thomas finished with 14.

FSC-Jacksonville advances to play second-seeded South Suburban in the second round.

Florida State College at Jacksonville 89, Howard Community College 75

FSC-Jacksonville (89) — Eddie Mitchell 6-11 2-2 17, Tarence Guinyard 6-17 5-12 21, Jordan Smith 5-11 5-7 16, Alex McCray 4-6 2-3 12, Roderick Gardner 1-2 0-0 2, Calvin Brown 1-2 0-0 2, Kuol Reech 0-0 0-0 0, Gary Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Aiden Fletcher 7-13 3-4 19. Totals: 30-63 17-28 89.

Howard (75) — John Thomas 6-15 1-3 14, Jalen Bowie 1-5 0-0 2, O'Meech Wilson 2-2 0-1 4, Ryan Conway 5-13 4-4 16, Andrew Mills 12-15 4-4 30, Jaden Johnson 0-0 2-4 2, Emanuel Henriques 1-6 0-0 2, Christian Dean 2-5 0-0 5. Totals: 29-61 11-16 75.

FSC-Jacksonville '50 '39 '— '89

Howard '31 '44 '— '75

3-pointers — FSC-Jacksonville 12-26 (Guinyard 4-11, Mitchell 3-4, McCray 2-3, Fletcher 2-4, Smith 1-4). Howard 6-15 (Conway 2-6, Mills 2-2, Thomas 1-4, Dean 1-2, Bowie 0-1). Rebounds — FSC-Jacksonville 39 (Smith 14). Howard 34 (Mills 12). Assists — FSC-Jacksonville 7 (Mitchell 2, Fletcher 2). Howard 5 (Bowie 3). Turnovers — FSC-Jacksonville 9, Howard 14. Total fouls — FSC-Jacksonville 15, Howard 21. Fouled out — Thomas.

Records — Florida State College at Jacksonville 26-8 overall. Howard Community College 26-7 overall.