Battle of Independents Leaves Sailfish on Losing Side Against Flagler

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.- In a matchup of two NCAA Independent institutions, Flagler College came away with a dominating 88-69 victory over the likes of Palm Beach Atlantic University on Saturday evening.

Sailfish sophomore guard Jonathan Lawrence (Miami Gardens, Fla.) put together perhaps his finest performance of the season with a career-high 23 points and fellow sophomore Anthony Gugino (N. Palm Beach, Fla.) posted a double-double but it wasn’t enough as the Fish fell for the 20th time this season.

Flagler utilized the two-headed monster of John Pietkiewicz and Bryan Borstlemann in the scoring column as the talented duo combined for 47 of the Saints 88 total points against the Fish.

The first-half featured a number of different offensive spurts by both squads as PBA would take a 19-18 lead at the 11:52 mark on a Lawrence layup courtesy of senior point guard Fitzroy Anthony (Boca Raton, Fla./Antigua). That lead would be short-lived however as the Saints stormed back over the next few plays to take the lead back on a basket by Saints guard Jon Mathews.

From that point on it would be all Saints as far as the lead is concerned as they continued to pile on to their advantage and took a 38-27 lead into the lockeroom at the break.

The Sailfish would never get closer as the Saints pushed their lead to as many as 26 points in the second half on their way to a season sweep of the Sailfish. Flagler defeated the Fish at the Rubin Arena back on January 18th by a score of 61-43.

Lawrence finished the evening with 24 points while connecting on 7-of-13 shots from the field and 9-of-10 attempts from the free-throw line. A 6’2” sophomore and a product of Hollywood Christian High School, Lawrence also chipped in five assists and only one turnover in 37 minutes of action.

Following Lawrence in the scoring column for the Fish were three additional players reaching double-figures. Gugino, who has been battling injuries that have kept him in and out of the lineup, responded well with a 14 point, 12 rebound performance that included a solid outing from the charity stripe by going 8-for-8.

Junior Manny Lopez tallied 12 points while hitting 6-of-9 shot attempts despite playing only 17 minutes due to foul trouble. Anthony struggled with his long-range shot for the second consecutive outing and ended with 11 points on 4-of-14 from the field.

One large area of concern for head coach Terry Primm came on the defensive side of the ball as the Sailfish were unable to slow down the Saints on their home floor. Flagler finished the contest with a final shooting percentage of 53.2% (33-62) while the Fish were limited to 38.3% (23-60).

PBA did a nice job overall at the free-throw line as they connected on 20-of-24 attempts while also winning the battle of the board by pulling down 40 total rebounds compared to that of 35 for the Saints.

PBA will wrap up their home schedule on Monday, February 11th when they welcome in West Palm Beach rival Northwood University for a 7 pm showdown at the Rubin Arena.

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