Men's Basketball Closes Out Season with Tough Loss at NCCAA National Tournament
March 20, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
OAKLAND CITY, Ind.- Leading by five points with just under five minutes play in regulation, it would appear as if the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team would be in control of their own destiny in their final game on Saturday at the NCCAA National Tournament. Little did they know however that it would be scoreless final five minutes for the Fish as #7-seeded Geneva College would push forward for 71-68 win in the final minutes.
The loss closes out a tough season for the Sailfish that was brightened toward the final few weeks with a victory over Nova Southeastern University then two more wins in hosting and winning the NCCAA South Regional crown. Heading into the NCCAA National Tournament this week as the #8-seed, the Sailfish dropped the first and third game in which they played on the campus of Oakland City University and finish the season 6-25.
The win for Geneva pushes their final record to 18-12.
Leading 68-63 after a three-point basket from guard Matt Roy with 4:48 remaining, the Sailfish certainly didn’t believe that would be their final points on the night however a determined Geneva defensive effort kept the Fish off the scoreboard the rest of the way as they pulled out the win.
A jumper by Matt Blocki with 3:45 to play cut the Sailfish lead to only three points followed by a pair of free-throws by Richard Colick after a Sailfish technical foul brought the Golden Tornadoes within one point at 68-67.
The Sailfish would go to the free-throw line on their next possession but come up empty on both attempts leaving the Golden Tornadoes with a chance to move ahead. Colick connected for his 29th and 30th points of the night the next trip down the floor as he put Geneva in front at 69-68 for their first lead since the 16:53 mark in the first-half.
A pair of free-throws by Geneva’s Dave Phillips would add to the cushion with only eight seconds remaining as the Fish were forced to foul. PBA would get one final shot off but come up short by the final tally of 71-68.
Without leading scorer Hunter Ross due to an injury suffered in Friday night’s win over Oakland City, the Sailfish would need another player to pick up the scoring load and they found that in senior guard DeAndre Williams.
Playing in his final collegiate game, Williams led the Sailfish with 21 points while connecting on 7-of-14 shots from the field and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Fellow senior Chris Joseph was the only other PBA player to net double-digits in points with 14 as he too played in his final game wearing a Sailfish uniform.
Phil Pejovic would add in eight points off the Sailfish bench while David Gabriel chipped in with six points and a team-high eight rebounds in 23 minutes.
Perhaps the biggest difference in the game came at the free-throw line where Geneva connected on 15-of-16 shots for a 94% team percentage while PBA dipped to 64% on making 14-of-22 from the charity stripe.