Sailfish Advance to IIC Championship Game with Impressive Win Over Urbana

Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

Junior Jordan Kong posted 16 points, two assists, and one steal for the Sailfish in their Saturday evening victory over Urbana University. Photo Courtesy of: Lori RichardsJunior Jordan Kong posted 16 points, two assists, and one steal for the Sailfish in their Saturday evening victory over Urbana University. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards

WASHINGTON, D.C.- After a dominating performance over nearby Washington Adventist University yesterday afternoon, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team looked to continue its winning ways Saturday evening in the second round action of the Independent Invitational Classic. After an exciting 40 minutes of hard fought hoops, the Sailfish attack proved too strong for #3 seeded Urbana University (10-14) as the Fish utilized a collective team effort in posting a 53-43 win over the Blue Knights to secure a spot in the IIC Championship final.

Urbana looked solid right out of the gate as they jumped out to an early 10-4 advantage in the opening minutes, capitalizing on their characteristic perimeter shooting. That lead would not hold for long, however, as the Fish registered 12 straight points and kept the Blue Knights scoreless for over 10 minutes in the first period.

Both teams traded baskets in the final two minutes of the half before PBA posted its largest lead of the opening period at 11 points thanks to a quick lay-in by senior forward Elizabeth Fugate. Outscoring UU in the opening 20 minutes 23-14, the Sailfish entered the break with a padded nine point advantage over the higher ranker Blue Knights.

The Sailfish held Urbana at bay with first half shooting at 23% (5-21), including 0-6 from beyond the arc. PBA struggled to connect from long-range as well, but edged out their opponents with a 41 FG% off of 11-27 shooting, with 20 of its 23 first half points scored in the paint.

Fugate was the only player to reach double digits off of 6-8 shooting as she collected all 12 of her game total points in the first half, while junior forward Selethia Jackson dominated the boards, roping in eight rebounds in 15 minutes.

The second half consisted of multiple double digit leads for the Fish, matched by aggressive rallies from the Urbana side each time.

The Sailfish pushed their largest advantage to 15 points after junior Hayley Fields connected on a quick jumper with under 17:30 remaining. However, the Fighting Knights quickly recorded a 10 point swing as they held the Blue and White scoreless for over four minutes and got within five of the PBA margin.

Each time UU got within range, the Sailfish combated with a quick rally of their own to keep a double digit lead between themselves and the Fighting Knights. Urbana would make things interesting, though, as a pair of Ashley Falknor free throws closed the gap to 45-43 with under two minutes remaining.

PBA held its ground, however, as juniors Jordan Kong and Ashley Dolberry went a combined 8-8 from the charity stripe to give the Fish breathing room as they closed out the game with a 10 point margin over Urbana.

Urbana improved upon their first half percentages, going 10-27 (37%) from the field in the second half for a game total 31%. The Sailfish continued to post good numbers, shooting 50% (10-20) in the closing period for a game total 45%.

The Fighting Knights registered two players in double digits in Falknor, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds, and Andrea Vogel who gave UU a boost off the bench with 11 points and seven boards. Every Sailfish player that saw the floor made the books this evening, with Kong leading all scorers at 16 points off of 5-13 shooting. Along with Fugate’s 12 point game, Fields added in eight points to the PBA cause, while Jackson registered 10 rebounds and sophomore guard Lynsey Poole came away with 4 steals in 16 minutes of action.

Collecting their fourth straight win, the Sailfish (7-20) hope to ride their newfound momentum to a victory in the IIC championship where they will face #4 ranked King College out of Bristol, Tennessee. The tournament final is slated for a 4 pm start on Sunday, February 27th in the University Recreation Center on the UDC campus.

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