PBA and Barry Battle in Instant Classic as Bucs Prevail in Double Overtime
February 23, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
MIAMI SHORES, Fla.- Playing in front of their home crowd for the final time, four Barry University men’s basketball seniors simply would not give up on Wednesday night at securing a victory as the Buccaneers rallied late in regulation to force overtime and then held off a miraculous comeback in the final 30 seconds by the Sailfish to finalize a 95-92 win over Palm Beach Atlantic.
An exciting game for everyone on hand, Buccaneer or Sailfish fan alike, the large and energetic crowd was treated to an instant classic between the two South Florida rivals as both teams players, particularly the seniors for both squads, hit big shot after big shot to keep the contest going.
A jumper from PBA senior guard Jonathan Lawrence with 5:17 left to play in regulation put the visiting Sailfish on top by double-digits (64-54) as they looked to secure a season sweep over the Bucs (11-16) after easily defeating BU in West Palm Beach back on January 19th by a 66-45 final score.
The Buccaneers would not give up despite the ten point Sailfish lead as they fought their way back to within striking distance as buckets from senior Willie Whitfield and Levon Williams set the tone for a Zack Trapp three-ball to find the bottom of the net with 1:31 remaining as the Bucs trailed by only two points (66-64).
With the crowd behind them, the Bucs would go down by one point after PBA sophomore Dante Valentine connected on one-of-two free-throws with 34 seconds remaining. Whitfield would be fouled on the other end and also make one-of-two at the charity stripe to tie the score at 67-67.
Both teams would have a last possession to work with but a PBA turnover and a half-court heave by BU would fall short to force the first overtime.
The Fish would once again grab the momentum in the extra period with a David Wood three-pointer and move ahead by as many six points a few minutes later when junior Terrell Terry added a tip-in basket with 2:34 remaining in the first overtime period as PBA led 77-71.
Back came the Bucs again however as the teams traded baskets and then a pair of free-throws by Whitfield tied the score once more. PBA managed to have another crack at the final score however a blocked shot late would spoil a potential Blue and White buzzer beater and send the game into a second OT.
A pair of free-throws from Williams for BU would end the night for PBA’s Wood as he fouled out early in the second overtime, severely hurting PBA’s chances at quick points.
Even after a pair of Valentine free-throws got PBA back in front by a one-point lead at 82-81 with 2:55 remaining the Bucs would have yet another answer as they rattled off eight of the next nine points scored to take a more commanding 90-83 lead with around a minute left to go.
All was not lost for PBA however as Valentine nailed a three-pointer followed by subsequent free-throws for BU followed by two more three-pointers from Lawrence to cut the BU advantage to only one point (93-92) with 18 seconds to play.
A pair of Zack Trapp free-throws stretched the lead to 95-92 as PBA had time for one final play. Lawrence would hope to make it three consecutive off-balance miracle-type three-pointers for PBA but his shot would come up short as would Terry’s follow-up three-pointer after alertly grabbing the offensive rebound. Trapp blocked the Terry three-point attempt to secure the win.
A game that won’t soon be forgotten by both sides presented a number of outstanding and gutsy individual performances.
Valentine and Terry both played the full 50 minutes in the contest as PBA only played eight players with two of their players registering seven minutes (Matthew Gierl) and one minute (Eric Alleyne).
Wood led all scorers on the night with 34 points before fouling out in the second overtime. Wood finished 9-of-19 from the field and 10-of-11 at the free-throw line while adding in three rebounds and a steal.
Lawrence once again provided the Fish with leadership and some tough shots as he managed 22 points on 8-of-26 from the field with five rebounds. Terry posted a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds in his return to Miami Shores after playing the two previous seasons for the Buccaneers before transferring this season to PBA.
Valentine finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and four steals to aid the PBA cause. Senior Darren Sheffield gave the Sailfish some big minutes on the night as well and finished with six rebounds, four points, and two steals.
Wood, Gierhl, and Clay Mbayi all fouled out in the contest.
BU was paced by Whitfield’s big night of 29 points and 16 rebounds including eight on the offensive glass. Trapp finished 6-of-9 from beyond the arc for 22 points while Williams added 20 points off the bench.
PBA will host their own Senior Night this Saturday, February 26th at 5 pm when they host Eckerd College for the final game of the 2010-2011 regular season.
Official game statistics will be posted as soon as they become available.