Strange Ending Sinks Sailfish Win Streak in Home Loss to Florida Tech

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

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Sailfish junior guard Lynsey Poole would sink a go-ahead turnaround jumper in the lane with under five seconds to play to put her team on top 60-59 on Tuesday evening only to see a pair of Ashton McClairen free-throws after time had expired hand the Florida Tech the exciting victory in women's hoops. The loss snaps Palm Beach Atlantic’s three game winnings streak while Florida Tech improves to 6-1 on the season.

Inbounding the ball at half-court following a timeout, the Panthers completed their final attack toward the basket with just 3.4 seconds left on the game clock. McClairen received the inbounds pass, drove toward the basket and was awarded two-free throws following a controversial foul call as the final horn sounded.

To make matters worse for the Sailfish, senior guard Hayley Fields was issued a technical foul for a comment made to a teammate which awarded McClairen four attempts at sinking two free-throws for the game-winner.

With no players from either team at the line, McClairen missed her first attempt then drained the two following shots at the charity stripe to lead her team to victory.

Undeniably one of the strangest endings to a ballgame in recent memory, the outcome was unfortunately left in the hands of one player while nine others watched from the sidelines.

Two key areas plagued the Sailfish throughout the night as they were forced into 23 turnovers while finishing a disappointing 0-for-5 at the free-throw line for the game. Florida Tech finished with 13 turnovers and netted 15-of-20 attempts at the charity stripe.

Three significant runs in the first-half made for some exciting basketball between the two NCAA South Regional rivals as neither team could separate themselves and claim a back-breaking lead.

Florida Tech jumped out to an 8-0 lead early on as Palm Beach Atlantic missed their first five shots while also struggling against the FIT defense.

After a jumper by Selethia Jackson finally got PBA on the board four and a half minutes into the game to cut into the FIT lead, the Fish would begin a 23-5 run that put them on top 23-13 with 9:58 to go in the first-half.

Following the long Sailfish spurt the Panthers would respond with a run of their own as they would close out the half on a 22-7 streak that left them leading 35-30 at the half.

Because of their struggles with 14 turnovers in the first-half the Fish would go into the lockeroom trailing despite outshooting their opponent with a 52 percent (13-25) effort in the first-half while FIT managed only seven turnovers and a 43.8 percent (14-32) showing.

The Sailfish wouldn’t wait long to get back into a scoring mood for the second-half as five straight points from Ashley Dolberry opened play for PBA as she tied the game at 35-35 with 18:00 to go in the contest.

The game would be tight throughout the second period as there were seven ties and eight lead changes combined between the two teams.

Fast forwarding to near the final minute of play, FIT’s Kayk Wilson knocked down two free-throws with 1:07 to play to give the Panthers the lead at 56-55.

A big 3-pointer from Sailfish senior guard Jordan Kong would see the Fish grab hold of the lead the next time down the floor only to see FIT’s Jami Chappell drain a 3-pointer of her own in the corner to give her team back the advantage at 59-58 with 14 seconds remaining in the game.

A full-court drive by Poole saw her jumper fall through the net for a temporary lead for PBA before McClairen’s free-throws sealed the contest and left FIT a winner.

PBA once again utilized a balanced scoring effort as Kong led all players with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Selethia Jackson added in 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks while Poole would collect 11 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Dolberry played 33 minutes and finished with nine points, eight rebounds and four assists on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.

FIT was paced by a double-double from Briauna Hagins who finished with 15 points and 10 boards while McClairen connected on 4-of-5 trips to the free-throw line in the game and registered 11 points. McClairen chipped in five assists and five steals in 36 minutes of play.

The Fish completed the game with a 49.1 percent shooting mark as they connected on 26-of-53 shots while the Panthers tallied 21-of-59 from the field for a 35.6 percent shooting percentage.

PBA will host Valdosta State University on Saturday, December 3rd for their only other action this week as they will battle the Blazers at 2 pm at the Rubin Arena.

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