Top-Ranked Seahawks Pull Away from Sailfish After Slim Halftime Lead

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

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Northwood University No. 1-ranked (NAIA National Poll) men’s basketball team reeled off their 18th win in 20 tries for the season on Monday evening as they closed out their season series with cross-town rival Palm Beach Atlantic University. A half-court heave from junior Matthew Gierl would provide the Fish with some momentum heading into  halftime down just four points (42-38) but a 10 point-spread in the second-half would be the difference as NU claimed the 86-72 win over PBA.

The Seahawks (18-2) placed four players in double-figures in scoring including a game-high of 23 points from senior Jonathan Dunn while point guard Tyrone Davis tied a Seahawks single-game record with 13 assists to help pace the offensive attack for NU.

The loss for Palm Beach Atlantic (4-15) comes despite the outstanding individual efforts of junior guard Dante Valentine and freshman forward Marcus Hardy.

Valentine put together one of his stronger showings of the season on Monday evening by pouring in team-high honors in points (19) and steals (4) while playing the full 40 minutes. Hardy was solid underneath as the 6’7” Detroit, Michigan native added in a double-double performance of 14 points and 11 rebounds in 37 minutes of court time.

Both teams found success from beyond the 3-point arc in the opening stanza as the Sailfish shot a superb 60 percent (6-of-10) from long-range while the Seahawks were right behind with 45.5 percent (5-of-11) of their 3-point shots going down.

Overall the Seahawks held the advantage in their field-goal shooting in the opening half as they connected on 46.4 percent (13-28) of their shots while limiting the Fish to 38.9 percent (14-36). NU also got to the free-throw line a total of 14 times in the half with 11 made free-throws.

Although the Sailfish would cut the Seahawks lead in the second-half to nine points on a few separate occasions the Hawks would seemingly come back each time with a back-breaking blow of their own, especially from the outside as they sank 7-of-14 shots from 3-point range in the second-half.

Northwood connected on 54.5 percent (18-33) of their second-half shooting opportunities which helped keep PBA from a comeback effort despite their own success shooting the basketball as they netted 60 percent (15-25) of their field-goal opportunities.

Following Valentine’s 19 point effort was Terrell Terry who dropped 18 points off the bench on a spectacular 8-of-9 shooting to go with five rebounds and five assists. Gierl added nine points and a pair of steals.

The Seahawks were paced by Dunn’s 23 points followed by Masse Doube with 17 points and Patrick Horstmann with a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds. NU center Tierno Agne added 14 points while Davis finished with six steals and five points to go with his 13 assist output.

PBA will be back on the road on Wednesday, January 25th as they will battle Florida Southern College at 7:30 pm in Lakeland, Florida.


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