Sailfish Unable to Hold On as Northwood Timberwolves Rally Late

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

David Wood (Pictured) Produced Team-High Honors of 30 Points for PBA in Their 81-76 Loss to Northwood University (Mich.) on Monday Evening at the Rubin Arena. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. David Wood (Pictured) Produced Team-High Honors of 30 Points for PBA in Their 81-76 Loss to Northwood University (Mich.) on Monday Evening at the Rubin Arena. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After a solid start that saw the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team lead for nearly the entire contest on Monday evening, the Fish were upended by a scrappy and hard-working Northwood University (Mich.) team that turned the tables on the Blue and White for an 81-76 win at the Rubin Arena. The Timberwolves split their two-game Florida trip after being narrowly defeated on Sunday by their sister institution and PBA’s West Palm Beach neighbor of Northwood University (Fla.).

Palm Beach Atlantic (7-6) has now dropped three in a row although tonight’s contest came after a 17-day break from game action as the team was off for the holidays. The victory for NU was their fifth of the season against nine losses.

Neither team would have a lights out shooting performance on the night as the Sailfish tallied only a 35% (24-68) while the Timberwolves were not much better at 40% (27-67) as the teams also combined to put up a total of 46 three-point attempts with the Wolves holding the advantage from long-range by making 10-of-32 from beyond the arc.

Sailfish senior David Wood exploded in the first-half for 24 points as he came off the PBA bench for the first time this season however the sharp-shooter from Fort Lauderdale would be more contained in the second period as he finished with 30 points after only six points in the second-half.

Fellow senior Jonathan Lawrence backed Wood’s solid performance with a 23-point outing as he connected on 8-of-19 from the floor while nailing 7-of-8 free-throw attempts. The senior from Miami Gardens just missed a double-double with nine rebounds.

The early portion of the first-half saw the visitors from Michigan jump out to an early six point lead as Cameron Joyce nailed his first three-point basket of the game with 15:45 to go in the half as NU led 10-4.

The Sailfish would then respond by scoring 12 of the game’s next 18 points as they tied the score at 16-16 on a jumper from Wood with 10:00 to play in the opening half. An offensive run of 22-9 in favor of the Fish would then follow as the Sailfish pushed their first-half lead to double-digits as Wood continued to find the bottom of the net.

Wood’s triple with 4:15 to play in the half would give the Sailfish their largest lead before a nice run by the Wolves would cut the PBA advantage to seven points entering half-time as NU guard Joe Powers drained a trey with under a minute to go to cut the halftime score to 44-37 in favor of Palm Beach Atlantic.

The second-half would begin with another run by PBA which would then be matched by NU to stay within striking distance, a trend that seemed to happen throughout the second-half as PBA struggled to put away the pesky Timberwolves.

Northwood would finally draw even with 1:25 to play in the ballgame as a pair of Bobby Lewis free-throws tied the score at 73-73. A Sailfish turnover the next time down the floor would lead to a fast-break steal and bucket from Joyce that gave NU the advantage with only 1:05 to go.

Although PBA would have a few opportunities to potentially sink a game-tying three-pointer, the Wolves determined defense would hold on while they hit some clutch free-throws down the stretch to ice the lead.

Andrew VanDierenDonck had the biggest showing of the night for NU as he led the squad with 27 points and 12 rebounds while playing 34 minutes. VanDierenDonck settled on 10-of-19 from the floor while hitting 3-of-6 shots from the charity stripe. Lewis joined his teammate as a double-double contributor with 19 points and 12 rebounds on 6-of-19 shooting.

Powers added 11 points off the bench in 30 minutes of court time.

NU did a majority of their damage in the paint, outscoring PBA 34-20 in that area.

Palm Beach Atlantic will look to shake off their recent losing skid as they will welcome in Lynn University on Wednesday, January 5th as part of a PBA-LU double-header. The women will square off at 5 pm while the men will take the floor at approximately 7 pm in a clash of Palm Beach County and NCAA South Region rivals.


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