Foul Trouble Sinks Sailfish Chances in Game One Road Loss at FIT Tourney

Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

The Sailfish women's basketball team lost to Florida Tech in their opening game of the FIT Holiday Tournament Saturday afternoon. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.The Sailfish women's basketball team lost to Florida Tech in their opening game of the FIT Holiday Tournament Saturday afternoon. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

MELBOURNE, Fla.- After suffering an early season loss in the Rubin Arena less than a month ago, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team looked to steal one back from the hosting Panthers of Florida Tech at their annual Carmax Holiday Tournament. Despite a hard fought matchup of offensive runs from both teams, foul trouble got the best of the Sailfish as FIT (9-1) took game one of their tournament by a final score of 67-56.  

The Fish looked fresh right out of the gate as they pushed an early 14-7 lead at the 13:39 minute mark after pounding the ball down low and forcing five Panther errors in the opening minutes. FIT charged right back in the second leg of the initial period with an 11-4 run of their own, taking their first lead since the opening layup of the half.

The Blue and White pushed the lead back to seven points before the Panthers closed out the period with a 12-0 run to enter halftime with the 33-28 advantage. Second chance opportunities and a 44 FG% (12-27), including 4-5 shooting (80%) from long-range, brought Florida Tech back into the game as the Fish only posted 38% from the field off of 10-26 shooting.

The Sailfish saw quality minutes from the junior guard Lynsey Poole who registered 10 points off of 4-5 shooting, including 2-2 from beyond the arc. Ashley Dolberry also contributed six points of her own after getting to the line four times, in addition to her two assists and three steals in the opening period. FIT was led by the 12 point performance from Ashton McClairen, who registered all of the Panthers points from long range off of 4-5 shooting.

The second half started much like the first as the Fish looked strong in the opening minutes with a 10-3 point charge to take the 38-26 lead at the 17:07 notch. Reaching their largest margin of six points at one point, the Panthers stayed close behind before foul trouble on the Sailfish side played a huge factor in the final 10 minutes of the closing period.

With the scoreboard displaying a 10-2 foul count at the 10 minute mark in favor of Florida Tech, the Fish proceeded to see three of its starters take to the bench after tallying their fifth foul in the next six minutes of the half. Outscoring the Sailfish on second chance points and receiving a 13 point boost from its bench, the Panthers pushed their largest lead of 12 at the 3:18 mark. Too many FIT weapons sunk PBA’s chances as the Blue and White fought to the last minute but could not overcome their counterparts.

FIT saw balanced scoring from its starting five, with McClairen and Tamara Dowdell tallying a combined 8-23 shooting, totaling 14 points each for the Panthers. Kristen Dixon added in a complete performance of her own with eight points, seven rebounds, four assists, a block and one assist in 31 minutes of action. Poole led all scorers on the day with 15 points (6-9 shooting), two assists and three rebounds. Junior forward Selethia Jackson registered a double-double consisting of 12 points and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes, and Elizabeth Fugate added in 11 points and five rebounds for the Fish.

With a first round loss, the Sailfish (1-9) will now play in a consolation game against Saint Michael’s University out of Vermont. That 2:00 o’clock game will take place tomorrow, December 19th in the Clemente Center on the campus of Florida Tech.

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