Sailfish Stun Visiting Northwood on Senior Night at the Rubin Arena
February 11, 2008
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- It’s been a rough year for the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball. However, beating two nationally-ranked teams to close out your home season has left both the players and fans eagerly looking forward to next season.
Under first-year head coach Terry Primm, the Sailfish were able to close out a 67-60 victory over West Palm Beach rival and #23-ranked Northwood University Seahawks (NAIA coaches poll) on Monday night before a packed Rubin Arena crowd.
Feeding off the intensity of both the “Fish Tank” and the inner city rivalry, PBA produced four players in double-figures and connected on key free-throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
A back-and-forth affair for much of the first-half, the Fish would trail early on and be trailing by as many as six points when Seahawks forward DeSean White connected on a jumper with 13:12 left to play in the opening period.
PBA wouldn’t quit however and tie the contest a few minutes later at 18-18 when sophomore guard Jay Jackson (Grand Rapids, Mich.) registered a two-point basket with 9:13 to play in the half.
With the Sailfish offense now in high-gear, the blue and white would increase their opening half lead to as many as eight points as they entered the lockeroom nursing a 33-25 advantage.
As the team exited the lockeroom in the second half, PBA seemed to stumble out of the blocks and would be held scoreless for the first four plus minutes before a quick timeout from Primm eased the Seahawks momentum. Out of the timeout, sophomore Anthony Gugino (N. Palm Beach, Fla.) would connect on consecutive baskets, his only scores of the night, and push the Sailfish advantage back to five points (37-32).
Down the stretch, it would once again be the strong play of White who scored a game-high 24 points that would keep the Seahawks within striking distance. At the 3:42 mark, White connected again giving Northwood a one point lead at 52-51.
This lead would turn out to be temporary however as PBA sophomore Jonathan Lawrence (Miami Gardens, Fla.) came through with a huge three-pointer, his only triple of the contest and give the lead back to the Fish.
Hanging tough, the Hawks wouldn’t quit and kept the game within striking distance entering the final two minutes of action until senior Fitzroy Anthony (Boca Raton, Fla./Antigua) buried a three-pointer from the corner at the 1:25 mark, essentially putting the game in the hands of the Sailfish free-throw shooters.
The Seahawks were forced to foul and eventually paid the price as PBA combined to shoot 14-of-15 from the free-throw line and seal the victory.
Lawrence and junior David Powell (Hollywood, Fla.) led the Sailfish efforts with both guards totaling 18 points. Powell connected on just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc, but did a very effective job near the basket and at the free-throw line as he nailed all six of his shots from the charity stripe.
A product of Hollywood Christian High School, Lawrence followed up his solid 23-point outing against Saint Leo on Saturday with another stellar performance tonight as he hit 6-of-13 shots while hitting five crucial free-throws in the final minutes of the game.
Anthony, who was honored in a pregame ceremony as the Sailfish lone senior on this years squad, once again proved to be clutch by hitting 4-of-7 shots from three-point land, dishing out five assists, and pulling down a season-high six rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
Northwood was pace by White, although the 6’8” NCAA Division I transfer could hit only 10-of-20 shots from the field while also pulling down 11 rebounds. Owens was the only other Seahawks player to reach double-figures as he tallied 10 points.
With the loss, Northwood drops to 20-6 while PBA improves to 4-20 to cap their 2008 home schedule. The Fish will hit the road for their final two scheduled games when they take on Eckerd College this Saturday at 4 pm and round out their season slate with Barry University at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 20th.