Sailfish Fall Hard in Season Opener Against Eckerd College
November 18, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University Sports Information Director
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team hit the road on Wednesday evening for the first of three straight road contests to begin their season. In what was a close game to the point of midway through the second-half quickly turned into a rout as the Tritons avenged last season’s season sweep by the Sailfish with a 36-11 run to close out the half and earn an 87-57 victory.
Opening night for both teams, the Sailfish (0-1) and the Tritons (1-0) battled each other hard in the opening minutes with the Tritons jumping out to an early lead of 15-3 when a jumper by senior big-man Zaronn Cann went through the net at the 13:22 mark.
PBA utilized an attacking style for much of the evening as their ability to get to the rim started to pay off a few minutes later as they found themselves regularly at the charity stripe. It wasn’t until a put-back basket from junior David Gabriel with 12:53 remaining in the first-half that the Fish connected for their first field-goal which cut the lead to 15-5.
The Triton’s lead would grow to as many as 13 points on a few different occasions in the first-half with PBA getting the lead to only 10 points entering halftime at 39-29.
PBA struggled with their shot in the opening 20 minutes as they managed just a 29% shooting mark (8-28) while missing all seven of their shots from long range. EC was paced by 12 first-half points from Cann while leading Eckerd to a 47% (15-32) mark overall.
The early portion of the second-half once again featured the two teams trading baskets before the Sailfish went on a solid run and cut the advantage to only five points after a made free-throw from freshman Trent Stokes with 12:41 remaining the in the game.
Over the final eight plus minutes however, the Tritons distanced themselves from PBA and cruised to the easy home-opening victory.
Cann finished with a dominating night of a game-high 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. He also added in six rebounds in just 16 total minutes of work.
John Harper found his touch in the second-half as well for Eckerd as he registered 15 points including hitting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and 6-of-11 overall. Wayne Sears chipped in 13 points of the bench.
PBA was paced by 11 points from senior guard Chris Joseph who also produced team-high honors with six rebounds. Gabriel finished 5-of-5 from the field for 10 points while also pulling down five boards. Phil Pejovic provided solid scoring production off the bench with three triples on his way to nine points.
The Sailfish concluded the contest with a 33% overall shooting performance (18-55) while the Tritons produced at a 52% shooting clip (32-62). PBA was just 4-of-18 from three-point land.
PBA will look to get back on track this weekend as they will travel north to participate in the Winona State University Tournament beginning Friday, November 20th against Cardinal Stritch University.