Cold Shooting Effort Keeps Sailfish From Victory Versus Moccasins

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Jonathan Lawrence (Pictured) Once Again Gave the Sailfish a Superb Effort with a Career-High 31 Points but the Moccasins of Florida Southern Held on for a 79-71 Victory Over PBA. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Jonathan Lawrence (Pictured) Once Again Gave the Sailfish a Superb Effort with a Career-High 31 Points but the Moccasins of Florida Southern Held on for a 79-71 Victory Over PBA. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Although they would forge a second-half comeback with their gritty defensive play it wouldn’t be enough on Saturday afternoon for the Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball team to overcome a 2-of-24 three-point shooting performance versus Florida Southern College as the Moccasins took the contest 79-71. The Mocs and Fish were nearly equal in all phases of the game minus the disparity in three-point efficiency as the visitors from Lakeland nailed nine treys to hold on for victory.

Palm Beach Atlantic senior Jonathan Lawrence poured in a second-straight career night in scoring as the Miami Gardens native posted 31 points on 12-of-18 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line however the strong play of PBA’s senior leader wouldn’t be enough to overcome the tough outside shooting for the remainder of the squad.

The first-half of play remained close between the two teams as the game was tied 29-29 with 6:10 remaining in the first-half. On came the Moccasins (6-3) however as they closed the half on a 13-2 run as they led 42-31 at the break.

Lawrence was strong from the tip for PBA as he managed 16 first-half points while FSC saw solid contributions from senior guard Rion Rayfield with 11 points in the first-half and 10 points off the bench from Cameron Wooten in 13 minutes of play.

The second-half would begin similarly as the first-half ended with PBA struggling to find its outside touch and get into a rhythm. FSC would jump out in front by as many as 20 points (59-39) when guard Terry Jenkins drove to the basket for a layup with 13:52 to play.

Back came the Sailfish however as they began to adapt and focus on driving to the basket which subsequently saw the Florida Southern defense rack up a hefty foul count.

Down 20 points, the Sailfish offense would find some second-half rhythm as a 16-5 run concluded with junior Terrell Terry putting down two free-throws to bring the deficit to single digits at 64-55 with 7:40 to play.

Still chipping away, the Sailfish would get as close as four points on two separate Lawrence baskets with under five minutes to play however the veteran Mocs lineup would bend but not break. Solid FSC free-throw shooting down the stretch coupled with PBA’s inability to hit a late back-breaking three-ball saw the final outcome swing the way of the Red and White.

Lawrence led all scorers with 31 points while adding in four rebounds, three assists, and a pair of blocks in 36 minutes on the floor. Senior David Wood who was taking on his former mates of FSC, came alive in the second-half for stretches but fell below his season average to post an afternoon of 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting including a tough 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Terrell Terry chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Rayfield led the Moccasins with a team-high 23 points which included 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc and 8-of-15 overall. Wooten’s solid first-half was followed up by six more points in the second-half as the reserve finished with 18 points on a very efficient 7-of-9 shooting from the field and eight boards.

Damon Ellison registered 14 points while Terry Jenkins added in 11 points for the Moccasins who have now won three straight ball games.

Both teams registered 10 turnovers each while pulling down 40 total rebounds a piece including 13 offensive rebounds for each team.

Palm Beach Atlantic finished with a 39.7% shooting mark (27-68) while FSC was slightly better at 41% from the field (25-61).

The Sailfish will have the beginning of next week off from game action as they participate in final exams but will be back to work on Friday, December 17th as they will hit the road to Saint Leo University for a 6 pm showdown with the Lions.

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