Sailfish Men's Basketball Collects Exciting First Victory in Overtime at Rival Lynn University

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

The Palm Beach Atlantic Men's Basketball Team Claimed Their First Victory of the 2011-12 Season on Tuesday Night with a Big Victory at Lynn University. Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins. The Palm Beach Atlantic Men's Basketball Team Claimed Their First Victory of the 2011-12 Season on Tuesday Night with a Big Victory at Lynn University. Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins.

Box Score

BOCA RATON, Fla.- Trailing nearly the entirety of regulation, it was a determined team effort that helped lead Palm Beach Atlantic to its first win of the season on Tuesday evening at Lynn University in men’s basketball action. A late push along with some key execution down the stretch forced overtime for PBA with the Sailfish pushing ahead for good in the extra period and hanging on for a well-deserved 79-71 victory.

After ten turnovers in the first-half while forcing LU (2-2) into only one miscue, the Sailfish (1-3) would look to establish their inside game while finding contributions from up and down the lineup in the second-half as the Fish would stay within striking distance.

Despite outshooting and outrebounding the Knights in the first period, the Sailfish would enter halftime trailing their opponent by a 31-26 margin thanks in large part to LU’s ability to take care of the basketball despite their shooting woes.

The opening stages of the second-half saw LU extend their halftime advantage to as many as nine points on two separate occasions.

With the game potentially getting out of reach, the Sailfish would regroup as the inside play of Carter McMasters, Ian Sitz, and John Hawkins would respond and give the team some life with their solid work on the interior.

Now within striking distance, the Fish received solid contributions from a number of sources down the stretch to keep the pressure on the Knights.

A jumper from junior wingman Mattew Gierl put the Sailfish within two points at 58-56 with 1:44 to play followed by a game-tying strike by senior Terrell Terry with 50 ticks left that knotted the score at 58-58.

A tough drive to the basket by LU guard Brandon Smith drew the Knights back in front the next time down the floor which might have sealed the Sailfish fate in other contests thus far this season. Tuesday night however would be a different story as a layup underneath by Gierl rolled in with under ten seconds to play as PBA forced the 60-60 tie.

Quick to inbound, LU went the length of the floor and had a decent look at a game-winning 3-pointer from Slobodan Miljanic but his shot would rim out and the game would go to overtime.

The OT on this night would belong to the visitors from West Palm Beach as Palm Beach Atlantic took an early lead on a pair of McMasters free throws and extended to four points just a few plays later on a 3-pointer from Dante Valentine.

With PBA now in control, the pressure would come over Lynn as they began to fall victim to turnovers while the Fish would capitalize.

PBA built their lead to as many as 11 points down the stretch thanks largely to the good work of the defense and the clutch free-throw shooting of Valentine who finished 6-of-7 from the line in the overtime period.

Terry finished with a team-best 17 points while connecting on 4-of-7 field goals and 8-of-10 trips to the charity stripe. Terry has had at least 17 points in each of his three career games against LU in a PBA uniform, all of which have been off the bench.

Valentine finished with 15 points and five rebounds while playing 38 minutes. Gierl had a solid and efficient night as well as he made 5-of-7 shots from the field for 13 points while adding in seven boards. McMasters finished with nine points while Marcus Hardy added in a team-best nine rebounds to help lead the Fish to a 49-28 advantage on the boards.

Having struggled collectively as a team with their shooting through their first three games this season, Palm Beach Atlantic put together a much better performance versus Lynn as they finished 28-of-55 from the field for a cool 50.9 percent while limiting their opponent to only 23-of-64 for 35.9 percent. The Fish also executed well from the charity stripe by making 19-of-24 shots at the line for just under 80 percent.

After a dominant first-half, senior forward Michael Vidal was quiet for much of the second-half and overtime for Lynn but still finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Jerrell Oxendine led all LU players with 17 points off the bench while Miljanic added in 15 points as well.

PBA will have little time to rest before hitting the road for their next contest as they will participate in the University of Montevallo Classic on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26 in Montevallo, Alabama.

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