Columbus State Buzzer-Beater Sinks Sailfish Hopes of Second Straight Win

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Mike Wells (Pictured, Left) Drives Down the Court Against CSU Defender Lamar Williams in Tuesday Night's Contest. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Mike Wells (Pictured, Left) Drives Down the Court Against CSU Defender Lamar Williams in Tuesday Night's Contest. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- A back-and-forth contest from the start, the Palm Beach Atlantic University and Columbus State University men’s basketball teams hooked up on Tuesday evening at the Rubin Arena for a matchup that won’t soon be forgotten. With two seconds left on the clock in regulation, CSU guard Lamar Williams drained a three-pointer from the corner on an in-bounds pass to clinch a 65-63 victory as he was then mobbed by his teammates after the miraculous shot as the buzzer sounded.

A frustrating loss for the Sailfish no doubt, the Blue and White led nearly the entire contest before the heroics of Williams down the stretch forced the deciding shot, leaving the Rubin Arena faithful stunned.

PBA junior forward Hunter Ross brought the Sailfish back on top the previous possession as his put-back layup and free-throw gave the Fish a 63-62 lead with eight seconds remaining. CSU proceeded to drive the length of the floor while a shot from Brandon Bland missed then bounced off a PBA defender to give the visiting Cougars one last opportunity.

After a pair of timeouts to set up an inbounds plays, the Cougars found Williams alone in the corner as he collected the last of his 16 second-half points while nailing all four of his long-range attempts in the half. He finished with 18 total points on 6-of-7 from the field while adding in six rebounds, five steals, and three assists in 34 minutes of court time.

For PBA, the tough luck loss came with a number of solid individual performances as four players reached double-figures with one additional player adding in nine points.

The Sailfish jumped out in front early on the Cougars with a 6-0 run to start the contest before an 8-0 run of their own but CSU back on top in the early going. Things would remain tight for most of the half with PBA holding a nine-point lead at 34-25 with 2:07 remaining. CSU closed out the half with a 5-0 run and went into the lockeroom at halftime trailing 34-30.

It appeared the Sailfish might run away with the contest midway through the second-half as a bucket from DeAndre Williams gave the Fish a double-digit lead at 45-35 with 13:11 left on the clock. A game of spurts, the Cougars would claw their way back with a 6-0 run however that momentum would be derailed after high-flying forward Chris Telesford slammed a fast-break dunk only then to hang on the rim for a technical foul.

Trailing by seven points with just over nine minutes left, Williams knocked down his first triple of the second-half to cut the PBA advantage to 50-46. Back-to-back layups from Telesford and Donta Ridley over the next few possessions tied the game at 50-50 with 6:38 remaining.

Williams knocked down another trey at 6:06 remaining to give the Cougars their first lead since early in the first-half before seeing the team’s trade baskets much of the rest of the way concluding with Ross’s put-back and Williams buzzer-beating shot from downtown.

Senior Jonathan Lawrence paced the Fish in scoring on the night with 18 points while controlling both the pace and the shot selection down the stretch. The senior Miami native finished 7-of-16 from the field with two steals. Ross once again posted solid totals as well with his double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds helped aide the Sailfish cause in 37 minutes of action.

Guards Mike Wells and DeAndre Williams both added in 10 points each while sophomore Phil Pejovic came up big on the glass with 11 rebounds in addition to his nine points.

Following CSU’s Williams in the scoring column was 11 points and 10 rebounds from Chris Telesford who also posted three blocks.

The Sailfish (2-13) finished with a 37.9% (22-58) shooting mark while the Cougars were at 41.9% (26-62). PBA out-rebounded the visiting team from Columbus, Georgia by a 44-34 mark but also issued 23 turnovers while CSU committed only 14 miscues.

Palm Beach Atlantic will take the rest of the week away from game action and be ready to take on Lynn University at home on Tuesday, January 12th as a part of a Sailfish double-header. The PBA women’s team welcomes in Northwood University for a 5 p.m. matchup followed by PBA and Lynn at approximately 7 p.m.

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