Sailfish In It to the End but North Florida Pulls Away for a Hard-Fought Victory
December 30, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Communications
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Playing in their third game in the last 72 hours the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team took on their toughest test of the post-Christmas stretch by squaring off against NCAA Division I, the University of North Florida on Friday evening. After holding a 41-35 lead at the break the Sailfish were unable to sustain that success in the second-half as the Ospreys pushed ahead for an 85-78 victory.
Following a pair of games on Wednesday and Thursday at the Miami Gardens Classic with an overtime win versus Florida Memorial University and a close loss to St. Thomas University, the Fish would make the long northern trek to take on UNF.
Perhaps a sign of good things to come for the young Sailfish squad, the team was able to not only compete versus the Division I Ospreys but take a lead into the latter stages of the contest. In the end however the experience and edge would fall to UNF as they held on to improve to 7-7 while PBA drops to 3-10.
The PBA efforts would be aided by some strong individual performances against UNF.
Senior Terrell Terry backed up his career-high of 27 points against FMU on Wednesday with another strong performance on Friday by pouring in a team-high of 22 points and five assists in 36 minutes. Terry finished 7-of-19 from the field while adding in a 7-of-10 performance at the free-throw line.
Junior forward Ian Sitz added in a solid overall showing as well with 18 points and a team-high eight boards while proving very efficient with an 8-for-11 performance from the field including a perfect 2-of-2 from beyond the arc for the 6’8” lefty from O’Neil, Nebraska.
Dante Valentine chipped in with 15 points, six rebounds, and four assists in 34 minutes.
After limiting UNF to a 41.2 percent (14-34) shooting effort in the first-half with only 3-point baskets made, the Fish couldn’t quite hold off the Ospreys charge in the second-half as they posted a 51.7 percent (15-29) mark in the second-half along with six 3-pointers.
Five of UNF’s 3-pointers came from reserve Parker Smith who posted 23 points including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc in only 21 minutes of court time. Smith would also sink 8-of-9 attempts at the charity stripe.
A 10-2 run by the Ospreys early in the second-half helped key the win for UNF as they quickly erased their halftime deficit.
A total of ten ties and seven lead changes would take place in the second-half between the two teams before the Ospreys were able to pull away late.
A 3-pointer from Jerron Granberry with 3:22 to play pushed the home team in front for good as their free-throws down the stretched clinched the win.
After their busy stretch the past three days the Fish will now move forward to take on Rollins College for their next contest on Wednesday, January 4th in Winter Park at 7 pm.