Turnovers Plague Sailfish Efforts in Game Two of the FIT Tourney

Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

Senior Liz Fugate registered a season-high 17 points in the team's loss to Saint Michael's College. Fugate was also selected member of the All-Tournament Team at FIT's Carmax Holiday Tournament that took place over the weekend. Photo by: Lori RichardsSenior Liz Fugate registered a season-high 17 points in the team's loss to Saint Michael's College. Fugate was also selected member of the All-Tournament Team at FIT's Carmax Holiday Tournament that took place over the weekend. Photo by: Lori Richards

MELBOURNE, Fla.- Having suffered a first-round loss to the host Panthers at the Florida Tech/Carmax Holiday Tournament on Saturday, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team took to the hardwood for the second time in as many days to compete against Saint Michael’s College (VT) in a consolation game at the Clemente Center. The Purple Knights would get the best of the struggling Sailfish as they handed the Blue and White its second loss of the FIT tourney at a final score of 62-49.

The Sailfish struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the first few minutes of the opening period as the Purple Knights forced seven PBA errors and jumped to an early 9-2 lead at the 17:02 mark. Two quick three pointers at the hands of junior guard Hayley Fields cut into the early lead and jumpstarted the Blue and White offense.

SMC would prove resilient on both ends of the court, however, as they tallied 15 points on Sailfish errors and took advantage of seven second chance points collected from nine offensive boards. Despite turning the ball over 15 times in the first period, the Fish stayed within reach thanks to solid defense, which forced 10 turnovers from the Purple Knights.

Neither team put up high percentages in the initial period, but Saint Michael’s concluded the half with a 34-26 advantage off of 10-28 shooting (35 FG%) compared to 9-22 shooting (40 FG%) from the Sailfish end.

Senior Elizabeth Fugate registered 20 solid minutes in the first period for the Blue and White, connecting on 3-5 shooting for eight points and adding in six rebounds. Fields concluded the half with 7 points off of 2-4 shooting, including 2-3 from long range.

The second half started similarly to the first as PBA continued to surrender offensive opportunities and the Purple Knights quickly pushed their lead to 15 at the 16 minute mark.

Defense kept the Sailfish within distance as they cut the once 18-point Purple Knight lead to 13, but SMC got the job done when it counted as the final three minutes consisted of both teams trading baskets.

In the end, rebounding and turnovers got the best of the Fish as they surrendered the ball over 24 times and saw their opponents out-rebounded them by a 38-32 margin, including 16 offensive boards. Unable to get off many opportunities on offense, the Sailfish tallied a game total 36% from the field on 18-50 shooting. The Purple Knights did not shoot any better with a 34 FG% (18-53), but their 23 points off of turnovers and 12 second chance points edged out the Sailfish in the end.

The Sailfish saw a season-high, 17-point performance from Fugate who connected on 7-14 shooting and added in eight rebounds to her one block and one steal in 35 minutes of action. Coming off of an 11-point, five rebound game yesterday, Fugate was honored with a spot on the All-Tournament team for her solid two game showing this weekend.  Sophomore guard Ashley Dolberry also reached double digits with 11 points and six rebounds, and junior Loren Wilkins put up solid numbers with eight points and four rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.

Saint Michael’s had two players reach double digits in Coreen Hennessy and Caitlin Quinn who contributed 14 and 11 points respectively. Also reaching near double-double digits for the Purple Knights was senior Logan Pintka who added in nine points and eight rebounds, including five offensive boards.

The Sailfish will enjoy some time off in celebration of the Christmas season before returning to the hardwood for an NCAA II non-conference matchup with visiting Shaw University on December 31, 2010. That game is slated for a 1 o’clock start in the Rubin Arena.


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