Five Players Reach Double Figures as Sailfish Start 2010 with a Bang

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Hunter Ross (Pictured) Led Five PBA Scorer's in Double-Figures with 17 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Hunter Ross (Pictured) Led Five PBA Scorer's in Double-Figures with 17 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After a tough start to the 2009-2010 season through the first two months saw the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team searching for answers, the team started out their 2010 portion of the schedule on Saturday evening as they posted a solid 89-74 victory over visiting Judson University at the Rubin Arena. Junior Hunter Ross led five PBA players in double-figures with 17 points while junior David Gabriel posted his first career double-double.

A NAIA Division I program from outside of Chicago, Illinois, the Eagles scored the opening basket of the contest on a layup from Jim Kuban however that lead would be short lived as PBA went on top on a three-point play from Gabriel with 17:47 remaining in the first-half and never looked back.

A three-point play from Ross with just under five minutes remaining in the half put PBA by a half-high of 21 points as they led 43-22 in the opening stanza. The two teams would go into their respective locker rooms with the score 49-30 in favor of the Fish. Ross led the team with 12 first-half points while managing a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line.

The second-half featured slow starts for both teams out of the gate before PBA once again took control and increased their lead out to a game-high 29 point advantage when a three-pointer from sophomore Phil Pejovic found the bottom of the net to go up 79-50 with 6:53 remaining in the contest.

Give the Eagles (3-11) credit however as they never quit and took advantage of some miscues by the Sailfish reserves as they cut the lead back down to a much more manageable 10 points courtesy of a 24-5 run until the closing minutes. Free-throws down the stretch by the Palm Beach Atlantic bench helped increase the winning margin back out to the final tally of 89-74.

Behind Ross and his 17 points came 15 points from point guard Chris Joseph who was effective throughout his 26 minutes with a 4-of-9 performance from the field and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. Joseph also added in four assists, four rebounds, and two steals with only one turnover. Lawrence collected ten first-half points while finishing with 12 points followed by 11 points and 12 rebounds from Gabriel in 18 minutes.

Pejovic knocked down 3-of-6 shot, all behind the three-point arc, en route to his 11 points off the bench. PBA produced 34 bench points to that of only 14 for the Eagles bench.

Effective throughout the game but mostly in leading Judson back into contention was the strong guard play of Landon Skinner who led all scorers with 26 points on 8-of-13 from the field. Some early-game struggles at the free-throw line limited Skinner’s overall total however as he made just 7-of-14 from the line.

Josh Edwards was the only other Eagles player to reach double-digits in points with 11.

The two areas in which the Fish could look to as keys to the victory was their strong rebounding edge and their good fortune at the free-throw line. PBA outrebounded the Eagles 51-29 including grabbing 20 offensive rebounds. Despite some struggles down the stretch, the Fish still managed to connect on 26 free-throws while the Eagles were just 64% from the line at 23-of-36.

Palm Beach Atlantic will welcome in Columbus State University (Ga.) for their next outing when the teams suit up on Tuesday, January 5th at 7 p.m. in the Rubin Arena. CSU is a member of the Peach Belt Conference and a NCAA South Region opponent.

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