Seniors Lead the Way as Palm Beach Atlantic Knocks Off Nova
February 24, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team closed out their home schedule for the 2009-2010 regular season on Wednesday night by hosting Nova Southeastern University on Senior Night. After winning only one previous home game this season, the Sailfish put it all together on Wednesday evening as they downed the Sharks 65-54 before a nice crowd at the Rubin Arena.
While neither team shot particularly well with PBA holding the slight advantage at 34.4% to NSU’s 29.8%, the Fish did enough in the second-half behind a strong second 20 minutes from their two seniors, DeAndre Williams and Chris Joseph, to push through for the victory.
Williams posted 15 second-half points while Joseph added in 13 points after the duo was honored by head coach Terry Primm and their teammates in a brief halftime ceremony.
The first-half of the game was consistent with inconsistency out of both squads as the two teams racked up a combined 21 turnovers in the first stanza.
PBA (3-22) would gain their biggest lead of the first-half at 22-14 when Joseph connected on back-to-back triples with 5:52 remaining in the half. The Sharks (13-13) would fight back however with an 8-0 run to tie the contest at 22-22 with under three minutes to play in the opening half.
After NSU went on top by three-points on a layup from Teddy Tassy with 1:11 left, PBA closed out the half on a dramatic three-point play from Hunter Ross who received a pass after a David Gabriel block that allowed the junior swing-man to run the length of the floor while making the bucket and getting fouled. Ross made good on the free-throw and the two teams went into the lockeroom tied at 26-26.
It would be the Sharks who would answer first in the second-half as guard John Brooks nailed a three-pointer just eight seconds into the half to move ahead 29-26. The Fish would retake the lead a few minutes later on a Williams tip-in as PBA climbed on top 32-31.
Williams would then cap a personal 9-0 run for the Fish as they advanced their lead to six points at 39-33 with 14:24 remaining.
The lead would belong to the Fish the remainder of the half as down the stretch the Blue and White were able to keep the Sharks from getting any closer.
The advantage grew to as many as 13 points late in the contest as Jonathan Lawrence made good on a pair of free-throws to bring PBA’s lead to 65-52 with only 44 seconds left.
Williams used his big second-half scoring output to lead all scorers with 20 points while shooting at a 5-of-13 clip while netting 10-of-11 free-throws. Joseph was right behind with 19 total points on 7-of-17 shooting while adding in seven rebounds and a career-high seven steals in 36 minutes of action.
Joseph passed a number of career milestones on the night as he passed the 500 point plateu, 200 rebounds, 150 assists, and 100 steals in his two-year PBA playing career.
Hunter Ross closed out his night with 16 points and eight rebounds in 34 minutes while Gabriel added in four points and seven boards. All but three points for Palm Beach Atlantic came from their starting five players.
Leading the Sharks was Tassy who finished with 15 points while Brooks was the only other NSU player in double-figures with 10 points.
The Fish will travel to the University of Tampa on Saturday, February 27th for a final regular season game at 4 p.m. PBA will host the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region Tournament on March 8th-9th.