PBA Men's Basketball Claims Road Victory Over NCAA Division I Stetson University
November 26, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
DeLAND, Fla.- Although it has been an exciting early portion of the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball schedule, the Sailfish were still lacking a signature win to their solid start. That would change in a big way on Friday evening as the Terry Primm-led Sailfish knocked of NCAA Division I opponent, Stetson University at the Edmunds Center by a final score of 61-55.
Friday night’s victory is the fourth in six games for the Sailfish who have now bested their regular season win total from a season ago with a 4-2 mark to begin the 2009-2010 campaign.
The victory over Stetson (1-3) marks the first win over a NCAA Division I opponent for the Sailfish during the Primm coaching era after a few close calls the past few season versus another Atlantic-Sun Conference opponent in the University of North Florida which the Fish will play again this season on December 20th.
The Hatters entered play on Friday with a 1-2 record however that one victory came over Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Wake Forest University with an 89-79 win for SU in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It marked the first win for an Atlantic Sun Conference team over an ACC team since 1997 and the first win for Stetson over an ACC competitor since 1982.
On this night the Sailfish would utilize a balanced scoring effort as seven players registered scores on the night including all seven having at least five points.
Senior guard David Wood was held to a season-low 14 points but came through with some crucial free-throws in the final minute to secure the six point win for the Sailfish. Sophomore guard Dante Valentine utilized a big end to the first-half with his long-range shooting to lead the way for PBA as he netted 13 points off the bench on 5-of-10 from the floor including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. Valentine also led the team with seven boards.
Senior Jonathan Lawrence was next in line with nine points as he also added five rebounds and three assists.
PBA would grab an early lead of 10-7 when Wood sank a pair of free-throws with 13:30 to play in the first-half. From that point PBA would produce a 17-6 run over the next several minutes including back-to-back three-pointers from Lawrence and junior forward Clay Mbayi to push the early advantage to 27-13 in favor of the Fish.
After a 4-0 run by the Hatters put the game back to a ten point lead for the Blue and White, the Sailfish would respond again as they pushed the lead back out to as many as 17 points in the opening half when Valentine drilled a triple with 2:16 left in the opening stanza as PBA led 41-24.
The two teams would trade baskets the rest of the way and enter halftime with PBA holding a 43-27 lead at the break. PBA shot nearly 54% in the opening half (15-28) while Stetson was limited to only 39% (10-26). PBA also forced SU into 10 turnovers in the opening half.
As one might expect, the Hatters would not go away quietly in the second-half as the under-sized Sailfish would have to withstand a second-half charge from the home team.
After an Ian Sitz jumper pushed the Sailfish lead to a game-high 18 points to open the half, the Hatters would make their push. Three baskets by SU guard Tyshawn Patterson cut into the Sailfish lead then a layup by Ridge Graham got the lead down to single digits as his bucket pushed the score to 49-40 with just over 11 minutes remaining.
A pair of Sitz free-throws pushed the game back to a ten point lead for PBA but a Hatters 9-0 run including a three-pointer from Jermol Paul would leave the Sailfish nursing a 51-50 lead with under eight minutes to play.
Although the Sailfish lead would never be back above six points the rest of the way, the Hatters would never tie the visitors from West Palm Beach as big baskets kept the Fish withstanding each attack by the home team. Leading by only one point with five minutes to play, PBA sophomore Matt Roy drilled a three-point bomb to give the Sailfish a more comfortable lead.
A made basket by Stetson at the 4:40 mark would be the last score of the night for the Hatters however as they would be unable to register another point against the stingy defense of PBA down the stretch.
Although PBA would register only a 25% (6-24) field-goal percentage in the second-half, they continued to hold Stetson down as well as the Hatters managed only a 36% mark in the second period including a 1-of-14 shooting performance from beyond the arc while finishing 2-of-21 from long-range for the game.
Graham finished as the leading scorer for SU as he totaled 19 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double in 38 minutes of court time. In the win over Wake Forest, Graham came away with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Palm Beach Atlantic will now rest up this weekend for a home showdown with Florida Tech on Tuesday, November 30th. The Sailfish and Panthers will battle in a women’s and men’s basketball double-header with the women tipping off at 5 pm and the men following at approximately 7 pm.