Sailfish Collect Independent Championship with a Decisive Win over King College

Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

Box Score

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Taking to the court three times in as many days, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women's basketball team looked to polish off the 2010-11 season with their fifth straight victory over the likes of fellow NCCAA opponent King College ( in the championship matchup of the Independent Invitational Classic hosted by the University of D.C. After an epic battle between two NCAA II non-conference teams in which the Sailfish led the entire way, the Blue and White accomplished just that with a 67-54 win over the Tornadoes in the IIC tournament final.

The Fish drew first blood with consecutive post plays from senior Elizabeth Fugate in the opening minute and a half. Selethia Jackson's quick fade-away jumper from the far right corner at the 14:01 mark gave the Blue and White a 11-5 margin, forcing the Tornadoes to regroup with an early timeout.

KC retaliated with a short run of its own to make it a 15-13 ballgame with under nine minutes to play, but managed only four more points as the Tornadoes hit a cold spell that lasted the remainder of the half. PBA responded with a 15 point rally, posting its largest lead of 13 at the 1:24 mark. Junior guard Jordan Kong's buzzer beater closed out the half with the Sailfish in front 32-21 as PBA finished with an impressive 52 FG%.

Holding the perimeter-shooting Tornadoes to 8-22 (36%), including 2-5 from beyond the arc, the Fish edged out KC on 14-27 shooting and outscored their counterparts 14-6 in the paint.

Tornado guard Derika Mooney posted solid numbers for King College with six points, four rebounds, and a pair of steals and assists in 13 minutes. Jackson closed out the first half with 4-5 shooting for 10 points to go along with three rebounds and two blocks. Close behind her with seven points and five rebounds was Fugate who played all 20 minutes for the Sailfish.

The Fish opened up the second half much like they finished the first, pushing their advantage to 16 points at the 17:18 mark thanks to a quick jumper from sophomore Ashley Dolberry. Making the correct adjustments, King utilized an inside-out game to fight back to within six points with under 12 minutes remaining. 

Keeping the Tornadoes at arms length, PBA maintained a near double digit lead throughout the remainder of the half as both teams traded baskets but neither could mount a substantial run. A three pointer by Mikki Oliver with 1:09 remaining cut the Sailfish lead to 7, but 3-4 free throws down the stretch by Lynsey Poole put the finishing touches on a hard fought weekend of basketball that resulted in a championship title for the Blue and White.

Putting up a solid fight in the second half, the Tornadoes bested their first half totals with 13-28 shooting (46%) for a game total 42%. Connecting on 4-7 from three point range in the final 20 minutes, KC finished the day at 6-12 (50%). PBA continued to post good numbers with 13-28 shooting (44%) for a game total 26-54 (48%).

Three of King’s five starters finished with 11 points each in Mooney, Kalen Collins, and Ashley Deans. Oliver gave the Tornadoes a huge boost off the bench with 12 points on 5-9 shooting, and Collins just missed a double double with nine boards to go along with her 11 points.

Once again the Sailfish utilized a collective effort, displaying four separate players in double figure scoring. Fugate paced the Blue and White with 18 points and nine boards in addition to her three assists and one block in 38 minutes. Fields trailed her with 11 which she scored solely in the second half on 4-7 shooting, including 3-6 from downtown. Poole tallied 10 points, along with Jackson who also roped in eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals in 26 minutes.

This win marks a first ever NCAA II non-conference championship for PBA, and completes the Sailfish season with a five game win streak for a final record of 8-20. Aside from bringing home the IIC title, two players also collected hardware for their outstanding performance over the weekend. Fields reserved a spot on the All Classic Team for her three-game total of 42 points, seven steals, and eight assists. Fugate was honored as the IIC’s Most Valuable Player after a weekend campaign consisting of 45 points, 26 rebounds, and seven assists.

With one season under her belt, head coach Clarisse Garcia and the PBA women’s basketball team will return home to West Palm Beach with high hopes and anticipation for next year.

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