Women's Basketball Nets Impressive Win on the Road at NCAA Division I, Bethune-Cookman

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

The Sailfish Women's Basketball Team and Head Clarisse Garcia (Pictured, Center) Knocked Off NCAA Division I, Bethune-Cookman University on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011. Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins. The Sailfish Women's Basketball Team and Head Clarisse Garcia (Pictured, Center) Knocked Off NCAA Division I, Bethune-Cookman University on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011. Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins.

Box Score

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- After a solid effort in their first attempt at knocking off a NCAA Division I team earlier in the season at Stetson University in a close loss, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball achieved the monumental feat on Tuesday evening by defeating Bethune-Cookman University by a 59-56 final score while improving to 2-2 on the young season.

Senior Jordan Kong led all PBA players with 16 points off the bench as the Fish (2-2) came back from a 13-point deficit in the first-half to claw their way back to within one point at halftime as BCU entered the break with a 31-30 lead.

With neither team finding much success in shooting the basketball on the evening, both teams would have to do the little things that earn victories as PBA had to fight to earn the win.

Trailing 24-11 with under seven minutes to play in the opening-half, it appeared as if the matchup of the Division I versus smaller Division II school might play out to be a lopsided win for the big school.

Ready for the challenge was PBA however as a Kong trey started what would be a 19-6 run to close out the half as the momentum quickly turned to the Blue and White side.

Bethune-Cookman held a slight shooting advantage in the opening half as they connected on 13-of-32 shots from the field (40.6 percent) while Palm Beach Atlantic nailed down 10-of-27 field goals (37 percent). It would be the Sailfish good work from beyond the arc as they connected on 5-of-12 long balls that would keep the team in contention.

Although BCU would score the first bucket of the second-half it would be PBA who would take a quick second-half lead as Selethia Jackson drew the Fish within one point on a jumper with 17:03 to play followed by a layup just a few seconds later from fellow senior Loren Wilkins that put the team on top for the first time at 34-33.

Trading baskets over a majority of the second-half, the Sailfish and Wildcats would be tied numerous times but PBA would never trail as they took a lead they would not relinquish on a Jackson free-throw with 2:31 remaining to move on top 53-52.

Although PBA would push their lead to as many as five points in the late stages of the game, the Wildcats would not back down as a Jasmine Elum 3-pointer found the bottom of the net to draw within one point with 15 ticks left on the clock.

Forced to foul with little time left, the Wildcats hope at a comeback would be dashed when PBA junior guard Lynsey Poole buried a pair of free-throws to close out the win.

Following Kong’s team-leading output was Jackson with another double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds in 37 minutes of play while Ashley Dolberry chipped in with 10 points including 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.

Wilkins registered a nice performance off the bench with seven points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of court time.

Although the Fish did not shoot particularly well as they hit only 31.5 percent of their shots on the night (17-54) they did come through clutch at the free-throw line with 14-of-16 made shots at the charity stripe.

They would also limit the Wildcats to just 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from behind the 3-point line.

Bethune-Cookman was led by Elum’s 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting while Sharnese Neal finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Palm Beach Atlantic will be in action over the Thanksgiving holiday by participating in a tournament at nearby Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. PBA will take on Southern Minnesota State University on Friday, November 25th at 2 pm and then again on Saturday, November 26th versus Bemidji State University at 2 pm.

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