Sailfish Takes Down Eckerd College in Sweet Senior Night Outcome

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

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Taking to the Rubin Arena floor one final time, Palm Beach Atlantic Universities three senior members of its men’s basketball team helped will the Sailfish to an upset of Eckerd College on Saturday night as the Fish held off numerous Triton comeback attempts as they held on for an 82-74 win. Jonathan Lawrence, David Wood, and Darren Sheffield were each honored during a halftime ceremony and then celebrated after the game with their teammates after a deserving 12th win of the season.

Having already experienced one Senior Night earlier this week in a heart-breaking double-overtime loss at Barry University on Wednesday night in Miami, the Sailfish under fourth-year head coach Terry Primm looked to close out the 2010-2011 season in style against a bigger and more athletic Eckerd College team.

Despite the Triton’s lofty incoming record of 20-6, the Sailfish (12-12) were able to force the Tritons into 20 turnovers while only committing nine turnovers of their own. The Tritons would connect on 65% (15-23) of their field-goal attempts in the first-half including 5-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc however it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the many second-chance points the Sailfish would register. The Fish outscored the Tritons 18-0 on second-chance points in the first-half.

Junior Clay Mbayi and Wood led the Sailfish in scoring in the first-half with both tallying 11 points as both players also were effective in crashing the boards as Mbayi grabbed five rebounds in the first-half while Wood managed six to go with his 11 points and four steals.

Eckerd was paced by freshman guard Alex Bodney as the sharp-shooter nailed all four of his shot attempts including a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

With PBA being limited to a 42% (16-38) mark in the first-half, the Sailfish would need to take advantage of their opportunities as they managed 15 more shots from the field in the first half than their opposition.

Although PBA would lead for nearly the entire way, it wouldn’t be without offensive runs made be EC. Leading 20-16 with 9:14 remaining in the first-half, Palm Beach Atlantic would then take off on a 11-2 run as Wood buried back-to-back treys while sophomore Dante Valentine would also cash in during the run.

Back came the Tritons however down the stretch of the first-half as Bodney buried back-to-back triples of his own and fellow guard Woody Taylor also would bury a long-range shot to cut into the PBA lead to only three points (35-32) with 3:52 remaining.

A third three-pointer from Bodney a minute later would tie the score at 37-37 with 2:02 to play in the first-half while EC actually took a momentary lead of 39-37 after a pair of Chris Gray free-throws.

The Fish would close out the half however in fine fashion as Eric Alleyne knocked down a three-pointer while Mbayi connected for a three-pointer of his own near the buzzer as PBA went into halftime up 43-39.

The second-half of play would feature both teams finding a rhythm  as PBA’s lead never grew larger than seven points during the first 10 minutes of the second-half.

Things finally started to swing in the Blue and White’s favor as they were able to extend their advantage out to double-digits of 11 points when Lawrence nailed a jumper (73-62) with 5:06 remaining.

Although Eckerd would get as close as five points, PBA would be able to hit some clutch free-throws down the stretch to close out the win on their home floor.

Five PBA players reached double-figures on the night with Wood leading the way with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds on 7-of-20 from the field while five of his rebounds were offensive boards.

Mbayi also tallied a double-double as he continues to do good work for the Fish as their front-court has been depleted of its depth. The Montreal, Canada native finished with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting while adding in 10 rebounds including seven offensive reboundfs.

Lawrence added in 17 points in his final home game while Valentine and reserve Matthew Gierl each chipping in 10 points. Valentine added in seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 39 minutes.

Lance Kearse led the Tritons on the night with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.

 

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