Sailfish Dominate the Second Half for Big Win over Washington Adventist in First Round of IIC Tourney
February 25, 2011
Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Taking to the road to participate in their season-ending tournament, the #5 seeded Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team opened up their first round action of the annual Independent Invitational Classic in Washington, D.C. against #6 seeded Washington Adventist University (0-25) on Friday afternoon. After a slow start, the Sailfish closed out the Shock with a dominating second half performance for a final 74-48 tally.
Nothing seemed to drop for the Fish as the girls struggled to connect offensively in the opening minutes before back-to-back three pointers by junior guard Jordan Kong finally put the Blue and White in the scorebooks and gave them the 6-2 advantage at the 14:34 mark. As PBA continued to battle missed shots and multiple turnovers, WAU made a few charges of their own, getting with two points of the Sailfish lead on 3 different occasions.
A pair of free throws by senior Elizabeth Fugate with under 10 seconds to play closed out the first period with the Fish on top 30-23. Neither team shot solid percentages from the field in the opening 20 minutes, with the Sailfish registering 11-31 shooting, including 4-10 from beyond the arc, for a 35 FG%. The Shock posted 6-19 shooting for a first half total of 31%, scoring the majority of their points from long range (4-8) and the charity stripe (7-8).
Leading all scorers in the first half with 13 was sophomore guard Vanessa Rice, whose 3-5 shooting from three point range and perfect 4-4 showing at the line kept the Shock within range. The Fish were paced by Kong who matched Rice with 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc for nine first-half points to complement her three assists and two steals in 19 minutes of action.
Making the necessary adjustments at the break, the Sailfish cam e out in the second half with ferocity, forcing multiple MAU turnovers and posting 10 straight points in the first three minutes of play. The Shock rallied back with 11 points of their own to make it a 40-34 game at the 15:36 mark, just before the Blue and White blew open the game with a 14-3 run to take the 17 point lead with under 10 minutes to play.
An easy lay in by Kong with 40 seconds remaining polished off a solid second half for PBA, registering a 28 point margin over the Shock and solidified a first round victory in the IIC tournament.
The Sailfish dominated the paint in the second period with 22-0 point margin over their opponents. Capitalizing on 15 points from 12 forced WAU turnovers, the Sailfish outscored the Shock 44-23 in the closing 20 minutes.
Rice matched her first half performance with 13 more for a game total 26 points, which led all scorers on the afternoon. Also reaching double digit scoring for the Shock was guard Angelica Nevarez, who just missed a double double on the day with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Fish were led by an all-around performance from junior guard Hayley Fields, who collected 23 points off of 8-16 shooting in addition to six steals and four assists in 33 minutes of action. Kong finished just behind her with 18 points on 7-14 shooting, along with five assists, four rebounds, and four steals on the day. Senior Elizabeth Fugate roped in her fifth double double of the season with a 15 points and 13 boards in 40 minutes for the Sailfish.
The victory moves the Fish to a 6-20 record on the season and second round action in the ICC tournament within the winner’s bracket. PBA will face the winner of Central State University versus Urbana University to be determined later this afternoon. That matchup is slated for a 5 pm start on the University of D.C. campus tomorrow, February 26.