Anthony Puts Team On His Shoulders as Fish Topple Nationally Ranked FSC
January 29, 2008
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- With an electric atmosphere backing him and his teammates the entire game, Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball senior Fitzroy Anthony helped lead the Fish to an improbable upset of nationally-ranked Florida Southern College on Tuesday night at the Rubin Arena.
With both the Sailfish Club and Spring sports teams on hand to witness, the Sailfish took down the mighty Moccasins (15-4) by a final tally of 81-75 with some key free-throws down the stretch. FSC defeated PBA back on December 28th by a score of 115-65 in perhaps the most lopsided loss of the season for the Fish.
The only senior on this years PBA squad, Anthony poured in a game-high 27 points while connecting 9-of-19 shots from the field while being especially efficient beyond the arc while connecting for 4-of-6 opportunities. The Boca Raton resident and Antigua native wouldn’t be alone with heroic moments on Tuesday as juniors David Powell and Manny Lopez also reach double-figures while hitting clutch free-throws down the stretch.
With the Sailfish in full-fledged rebuilding mode under first-year head coach Terry Primm, not many would have anticipated such an outcome, especially with the way tonight’s game began. The Moccasins, ranked #22 nationally in the latest NCAA polls, began the contest on an 11-1 run and looked to make easy work of the young Fish.
Down but certainly not out, Powell began the comeback with his first of five shots from downtown with just under 18 minutes left which started an 11-0 run by the Fish.
A veteran team, FSC would once again battle back and actually push ahead by as many as five points before the Sailfish stormed back into contention when Lopez earned a basket and the foul at the 5:29 mark to push the Fish ahead for the first time since the early minutes at 34-33.
With a halftime score of 47-42, PBA would need a strong second-half to fight off the pesky Moccasins and earn a much needed victory. Utilizing a solid effort from beyond the arc, the Fish would rise to the occasion in half number two as their lead grew to as many as 13 points when sophomore Jay Jackson connected on a long three-pointer with 14:03 remaining to give the blue and white a 65-52 lead.
While the lead would shrink to as close as one point down the stretch, PBA held off all attempts by FSC to earn a tie and earned undoubtedly their biggest victory of the season by playing sound basketball down the stretch and hitting their foul shots.
Tallying 18 points in the first half, Anthony closed out his night with 27 points while also adding in game-high honors with six assists and three steals. Manny Lopez, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and PBA’s most consistent scoring option this season, finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds while pulling down five offensive boards.
Plauged by turnovers at costly times for much of the season, PBA committed only 10 miscues for the game while finishing 19-of-25 from the charity stripe.
FSC placed four scorers in double-figures with Rion Rayfield leading the way with 12 points and four assists.
Looking to build off their win over FSC, the Fish will next take on Saint Leo University on Saturday, February 2nd at 4 pm.