Offense Abounds but Sailfish Scoring Efforts Fall Short at Florida Southern

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

Dante Valentine (Pictured) Was One of a Number of Solid Contributors on Saturday with 19 Points, 6 Assists, and 3 Steals.Dante Valentine (Pictured) Was One of a Number of Solid Contributors on Saturday with 19 Points, 6 Assists, and 3 Steals.

Box Score

LAKELAND, Fla.- Although the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team would pour in a season-high of 91 points on Saturday evening at Florida Southern College, it would not be enough to out-gun the Moccasins who topped the century mark for the first time this season in a 105-91 shootout victory over the Sailfish. The victory seals a season sweep for FSC over PBA after earning a more narrow victory earlier in the season in West Palm Beach.

Now 15-3 and one of the top performing teams in the Sunshine State Conference and the NCAA South Region, the Mocs built a big first-half lead of 60-43 into halftime while putting together a fantastic overall shooting effort on the night by shooting better than 57% for the game. Brothers Terry and Brandon Jenkins combined to score 50 of the team’s 105 points on the night while seven Mocs players had at least seven points.

If the casual PBA fan had heard that guards David Wood, Jonathan Lawrence, and Dante Valentine had each scored at least 19 points versus the Mocs, most probably would have presumed a key Sailfish road win. However that wouldn’t be the case on Saturday despite the strong scoring efforts of the Fish trio as the hot shooting of FSC, especially in the first-half, would be too much to overcome.

After a 12-12 score would knot both teams after five minute of play, the Mocs would begin to take over as they increased their first-half advantage by as many as 19 points before settling on their 17-point advantage heading into the locker room.

Terry Jenkins put together a perfect first-half for FSC by connecting on all five of his field-goal attempts including a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc while adding in a pair of free-throws in as many tries. Following Jenkins 16 points were 13 points from Rion Rayfield and 10 points from Brandon Jenkins. The trio combined for nine three-pointers in the opening half.

PBA was paced by a solid first-half from Valentine who led the Sailfish scoring column with 12 points on an efficient 4-of-6 shooting while Wood closed out the half in solid form by adding in 11 points.

The Mocs scorched the nets at 64.7% (22-34) in the first-half compared to that of the Fish who came in at a solid if not spectacular 50% (16-32) shooting.

Up against a big deficit, the Sailfish would not quit as they hoped to chip away at the Mocs lead and get within striking distance. The plan was working well in the first eight minutes of the half as they finally got the FSC lead down to single digits when Wood buried a three-pointer with 12:32 remaining to cut the lead to 65-56.

But back came the outside shooting touch of FSC as they would re-build their lead back to a more comfortable cushion, in fact moving it to upwards of 20 points on a Brandon Jenkins triple with 8:32 remaining in regulation.

Wood finished with team-high honors for the Sailfish of 25 points against his former team in Florida Southern. The senior transfer finished 8-of-16 from the floor while making good on all six of his free-throw attempts. Lawrence and Valentine both finished with 19 points apiece with both players putting together high percentage shooting nights. Valentine led all PBA players with six assists and three steals.

Junior Terrell Terry excelled off the bench for PBA with 13 points to round out PBA’s double-figure scorers.

Although he wouldn’t have a perfect second-half to match his first-half performance, Terry Jenkins did finish with a night he won’t soon forget as he led all scorers with 29 points on 9-of-10 field-goal shooting and a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Brandon Jenkins added in 21 points while Rayfield finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists. Damon Ellison chipped in with 16 points off the bench to aid the FSC cause.

Palm Beach Atlantic will look to put Saturday’s result behind them as they will now have a long stretch off from game action until February 14th when the team hosts local rival Northwood University at the Rubin Arena for a 7 pm tipoff. The game will also be featuring the Sailfish hosting “Samaritan’s Feet Night”. More information will be released soon. 

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