Short-Handed Sailfish Give Tritons a Run for Their Money Before Falling Late
February 11, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- With the Sailfish men’s basketball team without two of its normal starters because of injury in juniors Dante Valentine and Ian Sitz, not many would have given them much of a chance on Saturday to defeat Eckerd College at the McArthur Center. Even after trailing by as many as 19 points in the first-half, the Sailfish wouldn’t give up and nearly pulled off the upset as the Tritons pulled away from a slim advantage late to earn a 78-68 win over PBA.
Sailfish junior Carter McMasters stepped up big in the absence of Valentine and Sitz as he poured in a career-high of 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field while adding in three rebounds, two blocks, and two steals in 39 minutes.
Senior Terrell Terry was nearly as productive and even more efficient with an 8-of-14 shooting performance from the field for 19 points and six rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
The Tritons (17-5) countered with four players in double-figures including a team-high 20 points from forward Lance Kearse as she finished 7-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-11 at the charity stripe. Darrien Mack, another athletic forward for the Tritons, finished with 15 points off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting.
Early on it was all Tritons as they leaped out to a 10-2 lead in just over five minutes into the game.
A 7-0 run by the Fish including jumpers from Terry and McMasters sandwiched by a Johnny Lantz 3-pointer left the Fish trailing by just one point at 10-9 with 11:15 to go in the first-half.
A 17-2 run by the Tritons would then follow as they pushed their first-half lead to 16 points when Mack registered a jumper to move in front 27-11 with 7:38 remaining in the half.
Another late scoring spurt by the Sailfish counter-acted the Tritons solid run as EC went into halftime leading 41-29.
Things wouldn’t dip to under a double-digit lead for Eckerd until a McMasters bucket cut the EC advantage to 54-46 with 14:40 to play in the game.
PBA would draw as close as one point on two separate occasions in the second-half but could never tie or re-take the lead over the home-standing Tritons as they closed out the victory on a 14-5 run.
Both teams shot well from the field for the game as Eckerd held the slight edge as they managed a 50 percent (26-52) mark against the Sailfish efforts of 49.2 percent (29-59) for the contest. Both teams defenses were hard at work as the two teams combined for 37 turnovers (20 PBA, 17 EC).
The Tritons did a lot of their work at the free-throw line as they shot 36 free-throws with 24 makes against just seven attempts by PBA for the game.
Palm Beach Atlantic continues their long road trip with a contest at Nova Southeastern University on Wednesday, February 15th at 7:30 pm.