Lady Sailfish Knock Off Tampa Spartans in Blowout Home Victory
November 16, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Sailfish women’s basketball team made their home debut of the season on Wednesday evening a special one as they took down the University of Tampa at the Rubin Arena by a final score of 56-38. The Palm Beach Atlantic nearly claimed the wire-to-wire win as they took down the Lady Spartans for the first time in PBA’s tenure as a NCAA Division II member.
After a solid showing in their season debut last Friday at NCAA Division I Stetson University in a loss, the Sailfish (1-1) and head coach Clarisse Garcia put together a great defensive game plan together in neutralizing the Spartans (0-3) attack as UT was limited to a 31.7 percent shooting effort while making only 2-of-7 from beyond the arc.
The victory didn’t come without its trials either for the Fish who saw three starters in Hayley Fields, Ashley Dolberry, and Elizabeth Fugate struggle with foul trouble while an injury to point guard Lynsey Poole early in the second-half required other players to step up.
Four PBA players reached double-figures on the night while three also posted double-doubles in the monumental win for the program and second-year coach Clarisse Garcia.
After Tampa claimed the game’s first score on a Sarah Wickham bucket just 30 seconds into play, it would be the Fish who would tally the next 15 points as the Fish held their opponent scoreless for a total of just under nine minutes.
A pair of Fields 3-point bombs as well as the gritty play of Fugate and Dolberry allowed the Sailfish to put some distance between themselves and their opposition.
Mostly trading baskets the rest of the first-half, the Fish entered halftime with a lead of 28-13 as senior Jordan Kong drained a triple with just eight ticks left to push their advantage to a first-half high of 15 points.
A layup by Dolberry began the second-half for PBA as they pushed their lead to 17 points while Tampa would never get the PBA lead into single-digits the rest of the way.
Fugate led all players with 15 points as she registered a solid all-around night with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting while also grabbing 10 rebounds. Fellow senior Selethia Jackson produced a double-double as well as she led the team with 14 rebounds while adding in 10 points, three blocks, and three steals in 36 minutes. Dolberry finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds including six on the offensive end while leading the team with five assists.
Kong joined her teammates in double-figures with 11 points while adding in four assists as she stepped into the role of PBA’s primary ball-handler with the Poole injury. Kong had only one turnover in 29 minutes while playing the entire second-half.
The Spartans, who had lost their previous two games by closer margins against ranked opponents including defending NCAA Division II champion and No. 1-ranked Clayton State University, were led by Kamari Smith with 12 points while Moriah Hodge added 11 points.
Palm Beach Atlantic claimed a big advantage in rebounding as they brought down 49 rebounds including 17 offensive boards while Tampa collected just 26 rebounds.
PBA will close out its week by hosting Florida Southern College on Saturday, November 19th at 7 pm in the Rubin Arena for their next contest.