Sailfish Men's Basketball Hits the Century Mark in Blowout Victory at Winona Tournament
November 21, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
WINONA, Minn.- After two subpar performances to start the season, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team produced two solid halves on Saturday evening as they salvaged a split at the Merchant’s Bank Tip-Off Classic on the campus of Winona State University with a 102-81 throttling of Clark College (Ia.).
Palm Beach Atlantic (1-2) blistered the nets in the first-half against CC by connecting on 61.5% of their shots helped in large part by the 23 point outburst from sophomore forward Phil Pejovic who knocked down a ridiculous seven three-pointers in 13 attempts. Pejovic’s 23 points were easily the Serbian’s career-high for a game as his most-ever points came last season with 12 points against Florida Southern College.
The Sailfish never trailed the Crusaders who dropped to 0-7 to start their young season.
Senior point guard Chris Joseph got things started for PBA with a 1-of-2 trip to the free-throw line on the game’s opening possession, the first of 35 trips to the charity stripe the Fish would make on the night.
Pejovic would increase the lead to nine points at 20-11 with 13:06 remaining the first-half, the last time in which the lead would be under double-digits the remainder of the half. With both teams battling back and forth, the lead would be shaved to only twelve points on a bucket from CC’s Justin Heng with 10:46 left in the period. That’s where the Fish would then take off.
Over the final 13 minutes of play, the lead would stretch to as many as 24 points behind the deadly shooting of Pejovic and the strong supporting cast. Pejovic connected on three trey’s in the final 1:43 while also adding in a two-point basket to move the Sailfish lead to a comfortable 62-38 entering the break.
Mostly just maintaining the second-half, the lead would shrink to 12 points after a basket by Thomas Ammon moved the score to an 83-71 total with 8:43 remaining in regulation. Back came the Sailfish however and closed out the ball-game with a flourish and prevailed 102-81. A pair of free-throws by freshman Brian Wicker with just a little over a minute left put the Fish over 100 points for the first-time during the Terry Primm coaching era.
Pejovic did all his damage in the first-half while finishing 8-of-14 from the field and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. Four other Sailfish players reached double-figures including senior Jonathan Lawrence tying his career-high with 22 points while adding in four rebounds and four assists. Junior Hunter Ross returned to the starting lineup and responded with 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Joseph concluded his night with 15 points while shooting an efficient 4-of-7 from the field while freshman Mike Wells proved valuable off the bench with 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists in 28 minutes. Dante Valentine chipped in with eight points off the bench with three assists and five rebounds.
The Crusaders were paced by a monster night from Ammon who tallied game-high honors with 30 points on 11-of-17 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Josh Hutton connected on 4-of-8 long-range attempts while adding in 19 points off the bench.
The Sailfish held the rebounding edge at 41-25 while both teams turned the ball over 21 times.
PBA will hope to carry their high-scoring momentum into their home opener next week as they welcome in Rollins College on Tuesday, November 24th at 7 p.m. in the Rubin Arena. The game will be called live via video web streaming by Penn Atlantic. Stay tuned to pbasailfish.com for more details on the video streaming.