Buccaneers Late Rally Sinks Sailfish Chances at Road Win in Miami

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

Dante Valentine (Pictured) Led All PBA Scorers on Wednesday Evening with 15 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Guzman Photo. Dante Valentine (Pictured) Led All PBA Scorers on Wednesday Evening with 15 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Guzman Photo.

Box Score

MIAMI SHORES, Fla.- After a lockdown defensive performance in the opening half of Wednesday evening’s matchup with Barry University, the Palm Beach Atlantic men’s squad fell victim to a big comeback effort by the Bucs in the second stanza as they earned a 60-57 win to split the season series. Palm Beach Atlantic led by as many as 14 points in the second-half before the Bucs stormed back for the win.

Following a 32-17 lead at the break, the Sailfish appeared poised to earn their second straight win against the Bucs (11-10) who were defeated by PBA 65-60 in West Palm Beach on December 7th.

However after shooting 36.1 percent (13-36) in the opening 20 minutes while more impressively limiting Barry to just 22.2 percent (6-27), the fortunes reversed as Barry doubled their first-half efforts by tallying a 44.4 percent (12-27) mark in the second-half and holding down the Fish to a 25 percent (6-24) clip.

After committing only 11 turnovers against the University of Central Florida on Monday evening, the Fish struggled on Wednesday against the Bucs as they committed 22 miscues including 11 in each half.

A Terrell Terry jumper for PBA pushed their first-half lead to a game-high 15 points as the Blue and White led 30-15 with under a minute to play. A basket by junior Dante Valentine just before the halftime horn sounded left PBA in front 32-17 and in full control.

Valentine finished the first-half with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting while no Barry player had more than four points.

With a new game plan in place for the second-half, the Bucs didn’t wait long to execute their comeback as guard Evan White drilled a 3-pointer just 15 seconds into the period.

The Fish would continue to maintain their double-digit lead however until the 10:08 mark of the second-half with a 3-pointer from Chad Renfro cut the PBA advantage down to just eight points at 42-34.

A 12-4 run over the next several minutes by Barry finally tied the game at 46-46 with six minutes to go before a second free-throw by BU’s Justin McCoy put his team on top 47-46.

The two teams would fight back and forth the rest of the way until a 1-of-2 showing at the line by McCoy left PBA trailing 58-55 with 32 seconds remaining.

A pair of Nate Vera free-throws by PBA with 16 ticks left cut the deficit to one before a BU turnover with 12 seconds left gave PBA another shot at sneaking out with a win.

Unfortunately for the Fish their hopes were dashed as a pair of missed free-throws with under ten seconds to play left the team forced to foul. White stepped to the line and knocked down the final two free-throws to give his team the hard-earned win.

Valentine led PBA scorers with 15 points while adding in seven rebounds and six steals in 40 minutes.

Terry added in 10 points off the bench with six rebounds.

White led Barry with 16 points and seven boards while Renfro and McCoy both did their damage off the Bucs bench with 13 and 11 points respectively.

PBA will be off from game competition until Saturday, February 11th when they will travel to St. Petersburg, Florida for a 4 pm contest with the Tritons.

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