Sailfish Hoops Engages in Close Battle with Eckerd College at the Rubin Arena

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

DeAndre Williams (Pictured) Continued His Solid Performances of Late with Another Good Showing On Saturday Versus Eckerd College with 20 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Andrew Nyhus. DeAndre Williams (Pictured) Continued His Solid Performances of Late with Another Good Showing On Saturday Versus Eckerd College with 20 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Andrew Nyhus.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- A strong second-half shooting performance for Eckerd College coupled with some Sailfish foul trouble helped lead the Tritons to a solid victory over Palm Beach Atlantic University on Saturday evening in men’s basketball action. The Tritons tallied just under a 70% shooting performance in the second-half as they withstood a fierce Sailfish comeback effort in earning a 72-67 win at the Rubin Arena.

After sweeping the tradition-rich Tritons during the 2008-2009 season, the deep-bench Tritons turned the tables on the Fish during the 2009-2010 season after opening the season with a victory over PBA in November and then taking today’s contest on the road. The victory improves EC to 11-7 on the season while the Fish drop to 2-19.

After trading baskets over the first 10 or so minutes of contest, the Sailfish would take a 16-15 lead on a three-pointer from sophomore Phil Pejovic with 7:32 remaining in the half however,  from that point the Tritons would close out the half on a 15-4 run and lead 30-20 at the break when big man Zaronn Cann stepped out to the top of the key and nailed a three-pointer just shy of the halftime horn sounding.

No player from either team would hit double-figures in the first-half however EC would holding the shooting edge at 52% (12-23) to that of only 29% (6-21) for the Fish. PBA made up some ground at the free-throw line by hitting 7-of-9 attempts while EC was limited to just a 2-of-7 showing at the charity stripe.

The second-half would start out with electricity for the visiting Tritons as they pushed their lead to a game-high 19 points just three minutes into the second-half when guard John Harper connected on one of his three long-range shots in the first six minutes of the second period. PBA senior Jonathan Lawrence would answer Harper’s call with one of his own as he drilled back-to-back three-point buckets to cut the advantage to only 45-32 with 14:12 remaining.

The two squads would continue to trade buckets over the next few minutes until the Sailfish started to make a solid push. After a layup by Cann at the 11:40 mark left EC up by still a lead of 13 points (49-36), the Blue and White would make their move. A personal 5-0 run from junior Hunter Ross cut the lead to single digits while two more Ross free-throws a few minutes later got the Sailfish to within five points at 53-48 with 7:03 left to play.

Keeping the Fish at a healthy distance, EC would simply maintain its advantage and never let the Sailfish to a deficit of under five points for the remainder of the contest. Two late DeAndre Williams trey’s kept the Fish alive however the strong free-throw shooting of the Tritons down the stretch left the Fish simply out of time.

Cann led the Tritons in scoring on the night with 20 points while nearly doubling his average season total of minutes per game by playing 31 minutes, much of in the second-half. Cann finished 8-of-11 from the field while helping EC gain a 38-14 advantage over PBA in points in the paint.

Harper added 16 points including 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc while Lewis Lampley added in 10 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes of action.

For the Sailfish, Williams continued his good work of late by tying Cann for game-high honors of 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting and a stellar 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. PBA outshot EC by 16 points at the charity stripe by going 25-of-31 while the Tritons struggled at 9-of-17.

Ross had a big game with nine points in each half to finish with 18 points on 5-of-12 from the field and 8-of-9 from the line while adding in four rebounds. Lawrence closed out a perfect day from beyond the arc at 2-of-2 with a 6-of-10 overall performance en route to 16 points.

For the game, Eckerd finished with a sensational 61% (28-46) overall shooting mark while PBA managed a 42% (18-43) showing.

Palm Beach Atlantic will travel to Winter Park, Florida for their next outing as they take on yet another Sunshine State Conference opponent in Rollins College at 7:30 p.m on Wednesday, February 3rd.  The women’s team will take the floor against the Lady Tars at 5:30 p.m.   

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