Sailfish Produce Positive Effort; Fans Encouraged

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- With final exams now complete and the holiday break on the horizon, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team got things moving in a positive direction by battling for 40 minutes against Lynn University in a tight ballgame all around. In the end, the Knights came out on top by a final score of 71-66.

Juniors Manny Lopez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and David Powell (Hollywood, Fla.) led the Fish on the night with 17 points each while helping lead the new-look PBA squad on the floor.

Lynn (4-3) University used a balanced scoring effort by pacing four players in double-figures including a team-leading totals of 15 points by guard Randy Jones and forward Hans Schur.

Both teams came firing out of the gate and played back-and-forth for much of the first few minutes. Sophomore Anthony Gugino (N. Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) nailed his only three-pointer of the night at the 13:30 mark to tie the contest at 14 before giving way to Jones who fired back with one of his many leaning mid-range jumpers to push the Fighting Knights back in front at 16-14.

After the Knights appeared to be pulling away when Michael Baptiste’s jumper netted LU an eight point advantage (32-24), the Sailfish would present a run of their own. Two Powell three-pointers sandwiched by a Anthony Fitzroy (Boca Raton, Fla/Olympic Heights HS) lay-up knotted the score at 32-32 with just over four minutes remaining in the opening period.

LU would put together another short rally right before intermission and entered halftime with a 40-34 lead.

Half number two displayed its fair share of offensive runs as well as Lynn would tack onto their halftime lead and go up by as many as 11 points when Luke Postorino connected with 15:24 left in the contest to give the Knights a 51-40 lead.

The Fish wouldn’t go down without a fight however as they consistently pressured the Knights on defense and kept the game close going into the final ten minutes.

After a Corey Lewis free-throw pushed the Knights advantage to 66-58, the Sailfish would make their charge. Freshman center Karan Bajwa tallied the first blow as he connected from underneath the basket, followed by a pair of free-throws from Lopez to cut the LU lead to 66-62. Gugino would follow the next time down the floor with a fastbreak layup to shorten the LU advantage to 66-64.

In the end however, LU would put the game out of reach when Jones nailed his only three-point attempt of the night with just over one minute remaining as the Knights took care of business down the stretch by connecting on their shots from the free-throw line as the Fish were forced to foul.

 Joining Jones and Schur in double-figures for Lynn was freshman Chris Hall with 14 points off the bench, and Postorino with 10 points.

Both teams shot well from the field on the night as PBA registered an overall shooting percentage of 42% (23-54) while the Knights came away with a 48% (19-37) mark.

Anthony finished the game with a solid line for PBA as he totaled nine points, six assists, and four rebounds while playing 37 minutes on the floor. Jonathan Lawrence (Miami Gardens, Fla./Hollywood Christian HS) finished just outside double-figures with eight points while pulling down seven rebounds.

PBA (1-8) looks to get back on the winning track next week when they welcome in Eckerd College for a PBA basketball double-header with the Tritons. The women’s teams open up the mid-week action on Wednesday, December 19th at 3:00 pm followed by the men’s squads lacing them up for a 5:00 pm contest.

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