Wire-to-Wire Contest Leaves PBA Thankful for Home Victory over St. Thomas University
November 25, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After narrowly being defeated in overtime last night against Lynn University, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team returned to the Rubin Arena on Wednesday evening for some pre-Thanksgiving home cooking as the Lady Sailfish prevailed 68-66. Once again needing to rally from a first-half deficit, the Fish held on for their third victory in five games to start the season.
Freshman guard Ashley Dolberry led a balanced scoring attack for Palm Beach Atlantic (3-2) as she totaled 14 points on 3-of-5 from the field and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Junior Liz Fugate put forth another outstanding performance off the Sailfish bench with a double-double of 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Out of the gate, it appeared as if the Fish would run away with the victory as they registered an 8-0 to start the game including two baskets from Dolberry and layups by Selethia Jackson and Hayley Fields.
After a quick timeout by STU head coach Robin Harmony, the Bobcats (1-1) regrouped and went on a run of their own of 13 points to take the early advantage. PBA would break their offensive drought at the 10:31 mark as freshman Meredith Treat drained her only three-pointer of the game to cut the STU lead back to 13-11 in favor of the Cats.
From that point the Bobcat lead would grow to as many as 11 in the first-half on two separate occasions as they would force the Sailfish into a number of costly turnovers in their full-court press. A free-throw from Fugate and a late basket by Fields would pull the STU lead down to seven entering halftime as they led 38-31.
After trading scores in the early portion of the second-half, the Sailfish would turn up the heat as they completed a 9-0 run on a Jackson tip-in at the 13:43 mark to go up 46-44.
While the Bobcats would tie the game on the next possession when Nickerline Montina delivered on a layup with 12:16 remaining, that would be the last time STU would hold even against the Fish as Treat put the Blue and White in front for good the next time down the floor on a layup underneath the basket.
The Bobcats would hang tough for most of the remainder of the half after PBA stretched their lead to as many as eight points but would fall painstakingly short against tying the game once again as a pair of Alexandria Vanderpool free-throws got the visitors within two-points with 1:03 left.
Both teams would have their chances in the final minute to put the game out of reach or tie in the case of the Bobcats, but their efforts fell just short as Vanderpool’s attempted put-back was no good before winding up in the hands of PBA’s treat as the final horn sounded for a 68-66 PBA victory.
Following Dolberry in the scorer’s column was 11 points off the bench, all of which came in the second-half from second-year player Jordan Kong. Kong finished 4-of-7 from the field including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc as she provided a spark for the Fish down the stretch. Fields added 10 points as did Fugate with 10 points off the bench.
Dolberry produced perhaps her best all-around performance of the season with 14 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and two steals in 34 minutes. Jackson had eight points and seven rebounds while Treat added nine points as well.
The Bobcats were paced by the strong play of point guard Cindy Castillon with a game-high 22 points while adding in six rebounds and four assists. Montina added 18 points before fouling out while Carissa Staiano and Vanderpool each had 11 points. Vanderpool fell just shy of a double-double with a team-high nine rebounds.
Both teams shot a respectable percentage with PBA holding the advantage at 43.1% (25-58) while STU managed a 42.3% (22-52) shooting mark. PBA won the battle on the boards as well with a 37-26 advantage while turning the ball over 24 times to that of 26 for the Cats.
The Fish will take the remainder of the week off for the Thanksgiving holiday and will return to action on Monday, November 30th as they host Warner University at 6 p.m. They will then battle Florida Tech on Tuesday, December 1st for the first of two PBA basketball games that day as the men’s team will follow up with a matchup against Barry University at approximately 7 p.m. All games will be aired with live video through Penn Atlantic and the Sailfish Sports Network.