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Sailfish Effort Falls Just Short in Battle Against Columbus State

Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

Selethia Jackson (Pictured) Came Away with Her Fifth Double-Double of the Season with 10 Points and 14 Rebounds. Selethia Jackson (Pictured) Came Away with Her Fifth Double-Double of the Season with 10 Points and 14 Rebounds.

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ga.- After making the  long trek to their northern neighbors, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team opened up the new year Sunday afternoon with a first-ever meeting against host Columbus State University. A hard battle throughout, the Cougars (7-3) fought back in the second half to hold off the Sailfish with a final score of 56-50.

The Blue and White opened up the game strong, pushing a quick 8¬-0 lead in the first three minutes thanks to a pair of threes at the hands of Lynsey Poole and Hayley Fields. CSU would quickly respond, however, as head coach Jonathan Norton made a complete lineup change, putting Cougar leading scorer Dominique Gilbert onto the floor who immediately knocked down two layups which cut the Fish lead in half.

The Sailfish settled into their half court offense, taking advantage of good looks down low with production from forwards Selethia Jackson and Elizabeth Fugate, who contributed eight and four points respectively in the paint. Also shutting down CSU threats on the other end and forcing 12 turnovers in the second leg of the first half, PBA pushed its largest lead of 13 at the 5:51 mark.

The Cougars held the Sailfish to just one point in the final three minutes as they polished off the half with a 10-3 run to get within six. Going into the locker-room with the 30-24 lead, PBA posted an impressive 48 FG% (12-25 shooting) including a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc, while holding their opponents to a 35 FG% (10-28 shooting).

Jackson led the way for the Fish with 4-5 shooting for eight points in the opening period, while Fugate roped in nine boards, three blocks, and five points in 20 minutes of action. Gilbert registered nine points in 12 minutes from 4-8 shooting, and teammate Carrie Washington also posted 4-6 shooting for eight points in nine minutes off the bench.

The opening minutes of the second half consisted of multiple ties as CSU had an answer for every PBA push. Finally taking their first lead of the game at the 10:56 mark, the Cougars jumped ahead on Marina DeFoor’s long-range jumper to post the 41-38 advantage.

The Sailfish kept within range in the final moments before the Cougars took the eight point lead with just under four to play. That margin was too much to overcome as both teams traded baskets until time finally ran out. 

CSU made the correct adjustments to shut down Sailfish points in the paint, holding PBA to only 2 in the second period. Also forcing 12 Fish turnovers in the final 20 minutes, the Blue and White posted a 33 FG% on 7-21 shooting, whereas CSU registered 10-22 shooting for a 45 FG%.

Gilbert led all scorers on the afternoon as she collected 14 of her 23 in the second half. Registering 7-11 from the charity stripe, the 6’1” junior finished 8-14 from the field, rounding out her performance with six rebounds, and four blocks. Jackson finished the day with a 10-point, 14-rebound double double, her fifth of the season. Fields collected 3-6 shooting as all nine of her points came from beyond the arc, and Fugate continued to get the job done in the middle with eight points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks.

The Sailfish (1-12) will travel this evening to nearby Atlanta before completing their two-game series tomorrow against the #6 NCAA II team in the nation, Clayton State University. That game will take place at 1:30 pm on Monday, January 3rd on the Laker campus.

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