Lady Mocs Expand Their Lead in the Second Half to Defeat Palm Beach Atlantic

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Loren Wilkins (Pictured) Drives to the Basket Against a Florida Southern Defender. Wilkins Came Through With a Nice Performance of 12 Points for the Fish. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Loren Wilkins (Pictured) Drives to the Basket Against a Florida Southern Defender. Wilkins Came Through With a Nice Performance of 12 Points for the Fish. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- In the first of two meetings between Palm Beach Atlantic University and Florida Southern College on the hardwood on Saturday afternoon at the Rubin Arena, the Lady Sailfish women’s basketball team was unable to slow down the high-octane offense of FSC in the second-half as they pulled away late for a 79-56 victory in the first game of the FSC-PBA basketball double-header.

Florida Southern (7-1) utilized four double-digit scorers including a game-high 19 points from speedy guard Chelsea Johnson as they handed Palm Beach Atlantic (4-6) their fourth straight loss.

The Fish shot a season-high 54.2% (13-24) in the first-half against the Lady Mocs however went into halftime trailing 38-31. Johnson and Nicolle DiRaimo led the way in the first-half with 11 and 12 points respectively as they forced the Blue and White into 10 first-half turnovers.

The lead in the first-half grew to as many as 17 points for Florida Southern before the Sailfish made a nice run over the last five minute to cut the deficit back to a much more manageable seven points entering the break as freshman Tete McClenney rounded out the first-half scoring with a three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining in the half.

Sophomore Loren Wilkins earned her first start of the season and responded well for PBA with eight first-half points to lead the way at 4-of-4 from the field while adding in four rebounds.

A 7-0 run to start the second-half would greet the Fish out of the lockeroom as the Moccasins got a layup from Johnson followed by back-to-back baskets from Michaela Hawley to extend the lead back to double-figures at 44-31 with 16:33 remaining.

After a PBA run cut the lead back to seven points with a 6-0 run of their own including a pair of buckets from Selethia Jackson to get within range at 44-37 with 15:14 left.

At that point the Mocs would turn it up a notch as they pushed their lead back out to a more comfortable range as they began to find open looks from the outside that they converted on with more regularity than in earlier in the contest.  The lead grew to as many as 25 points before settling on a 79-56 final tally.

PBA was paced by a fine outing from freshman Meredith Treat who responded with 16 points off the bench while connecting on 6-of-10 shots from the field including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.  Jackson and Wilkins would follow in the scoring column with 11 and 10 points respectively. Jackson registered another double-double with 11 rebounds as well while adding in four steals in 39 minutes of work.

Following Johnson’s solid night of 19 points was 17 points from DiRaimo, 15 points from Megan Dzikas and 10 from Hawley. The Mocs collected 15 steals on the night with four players registering three steals each.

PBA will welcome in the University of West Florida for their next outing which will take place on Thursday, December 17th at 7 p.m. in the Rubin Arena. Catch the game live on the Sailfish Sports Network with video coverage provided by Penn Atlantic.

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