Second Half Blues Strike the Sailfish in Home Loss to Tampa
January 15, 2011
Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After a busy start to the week, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team returned home for a NCAA II non-conference matchup with the top-ranked team in the Sunshine State Conference, University of Tampa. After a close physical first half, the Spartans (13-2) cruised to an easy win over the Sailfish as they held the Blue and White to a mere 12 points in the second half on their way to a 59-35 final score.
The Fish battled with the Spartans in the opening period as both teams put up low scores in the first fifteen minutes of play. After four lead changes and two ties, PBA took its largest lead of the half at the 5:30 mark thanks to Selethia Jackson’s successful jumper in the paint.
Tampa quickly rattled off 14 points in the next four minutes to push a 30-20 lead before closing out the half on a 16-3 run. Holding the Sailfish to a 27 FG% on 9-33 shooting, the Spartans tallied a first half 40 FG% off of 12-30 shooting, including 4-9 from three-point range, to enter the break leading 32-23.
The second period was dominated by the Spartans as the Sailfish posted their lowest second-half shooting percentage of the season at 17% (4-23 shooting). The Spartans closed out the game with a 41 FG% off of 7-17 shooting, scoring nearly half of their points at the foul line after going 12-13.
The Fish reeled to within five points of the Spartan advantage on two separate occasions before UT held onto a double digit lead through the final nine minutes of action. Outscoring PBA 27-12 in the second half, the Spartans remain undefeated against Florida opponents as they closed out the Fish with a final 59-35 score.
Making her presence known in the paint this evening was Spartan forward Taja Green who posted 15 points and eight rebounds off of 4-9 shooting, including 6-8 from the charity stripe. Just behind her was season lead scorer Gianna Messina who just missed out on a double-double with 12 rebounds and nine points for Tampa. The Fish were paced by Jackson who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. Trailing behind her was junior Hayley Fields with nine points on 3-7 shooting from behind the perimeter, and teammate Ashley Dolberry roped in six boards, three assists, four points and as many steals for the Fish.
PBA will rest up over the long weekend before playing host to Barry University for a mid-week matchup between the South Florida rivals. The Sailfish men’s and women’s basketball teams will take on the Buccaneers in a double header with game one to be played at 5:30 pm in the Rubin Arena.