Fish Give Tars All They Can Handle But Fall By Three at the End

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

Loren Wilkins (Pictured) Gave the Fish a Big Lift on Wednesday with 17 Points Against No. 10-Ranked Rollins College in a Narrow 57-54 Loss for the Sailfish. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Loren Wilkins (Pictured) Gave the Fish a Big Lift on Wednesday with 17 Points Against No. 10-Ranked Rollins College in a Narrow 57-54 Loss for the Sailfish. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Hoping to ring in the new year with a big home win by knocking off No. 10-ranked Rollins College on Wednesday evening, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team fought until the end but fell just three points short as the Tars claimed a 57-54 victory. Trailing most of the second-half but keeping it close, the Fish had a final shot at a game-tying 3-pointer but their efforts were subsided by good defensive pressure from the veteran Rollins side.

Leading 55-54 with less than three seconds left in regulation, the Tars had guard Sarah Taylor at the free-throw line where she buried both her attempts putting her team up by a three spot.

Although the Fish would try some tricky inbounding tactics they would come up short in attempting a half-court heave as their inbounds pass was knocked away and secured by the Tars defense.

The victory for Rollins (10-1) was their tenth straight while Palm Beach Atlantic drops to 5-11 on the season.

The Tars began the night with back-to-back 3-point baskets from the likes of Paris Moore and Tera McDaniel as they jumped in front 6-0 on the two early possessions.

Five straight points from Sailfish senior Jordan Kong would soon follow that helped propel the Fish to an early-game comeback as they even took a 16-11 lead with 12:54 remaining in the first-half when junior Ashley Dolberry netted a layup underneath.

A big first-half by senior Loren Wilkins helped key the team’s stranglehold on the lead as Wilkins deposited 15 first-half points as PBA led 31-30 at the break. Wilkins dynamite first-half included 5-of-7 field-goals made while knocking down 3-of-4 from three-point range and 2-of-3 at the free-throw line.

Both teams shot near the .500 clip from beyond-the-arc in the first-half with PBA knocking down half of their 3-point attempts (5-10) and the Tars settling for 5-of-11 and 45.5 percent.
Early on in the second stanza the two teams would trade baskets before a quick run by Rollins helped the visitors from Winter Park jump out to a game-high advantage of eight points as Sarah Blackburn put home a layup with 15:12 remaining in the contest.

The RC lead would remain between 6-8 points over the next several minutes until a big shot in the arm for the Sailfish would be delivered by senior Hayley Fields.

Fields scored eight straight points for the PBA side, cutting the RC advantage to just two points when her 3-point bomb found the bottom of the net with 2:13 to play as the score settled at 53-51.

After a McDaniel layup under the two minute mark stretched things back out to a four-point lead for Rollins another Fields layup underneath courtesy of a Lynsey Poole pass would get the Fish even closer as an old-fashioned three-point play would follow to put the Fish within one point at 55-54 with just 1:06 to play.

Following a costly RC offensive foul the Fish were hoping to turn the Tars miscue into points however a turnover on the other end would lead to the Fish forced to foul and send the Tars to the charity stripe.

Following her outstanding first-half, Wilkins finished as the game-high scorer with 17 points while adding in four rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 39 minutes of court time.

Fields big second-half saw her post 13 points off the bench while Jackson finished with 10 points and seven rebounds to go along with four blocks and four steals in a full 40 minutes. Although she wouldn’t register any points, Poole proved valuable at the point guard position for PBA with eight assists and one steal.

Rollins was led by Ashley Jones and her 11 points (5-of-8 field goals) while Blackburn and McDaniel each chipped in nine points.

The Fish will next take on Lynn University on Saturday, January 7th at 2 pm as part of a PBA-LU basketball double-header. The men will suit up for approximately a 4 pm tipoff.

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