Sailfish Force Tight Ending but Fall Short in Knocking Off Sharks
February 15, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- After a 28-point loss earlier in the season at home versus Nova Southeastern University, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team hoped to reverse their fortunes on Wednesday night with a trip to the Don Taft University Center in Fort Lauderdale. Although they would trail throughout the ballgame, the gritty play of the Fish forced a close finish as the Sharks held on for a 68-63 win.
The loss drops Palm Beach Atlantic to 4-20 on the season while Nova Southeastern improves their season record with the important NCAA South Regional victory to a respectable 11-12.
In what was somewhat of a sluggish first-half, the Sharks led from the on-set as they pushed their lead to double-digits when Lukas Roesch drained a 3-pointer with 11:08 to go in the half to move in front 19-8.
With the Fish without leading scorer Dante Valentine due to injury, the team would need to rally around its other core players in hopes of making a comeback.
A 12-3 run by the Sailfish would follow up Roesch’s three-ball as the visitors from West Palm Beach cut the score to 22-20 with under seven minutes in the half.
The Sharks lead would never grow back to more than five points in the half as they settled for the 34-29 lead at the break. NSU shot an even 50 percent (14-28) in the opening half while PBA was held to 40 percent (12-30).
After a quick layup by NSU’s Robert Huntington extended the NSU advantage to 36-29 for the first score of the second-half, PBA would make their move as they reeled off a 9-0 run to take their first lead as junior Salim Fauras knocked down a triple to push PBA in front 38-36 with 16:03 to go in regulation.
The Sailfish spurt perhaps lit a fire under the Sharks as they turned around and they countered with an 11-0 run of their own to go back in front by a more comfortable 47-38 advantage.
The Sharks lead would grow to as many as 11 points as they looked to put the game out of reach. But as was the case throughout the game, neither team would quit and the Sailfish in particular wouldn’t quit.
Going down to the final minute, the Sharks sent Teddy Tassy to the foul-line with an opportunity to ice the game. Entering play, Tassy was around a 90 percent free-throw shooter, only to see him miss both free-throws to give the Fish a chance with under 15 seconds to go.
The Fish put in a lineup that featured their best options at a potential game-tying 3-pointer only to see freshman Johnny Lantz’s attempt miss to put a lid on the game.
Terrell Terry led the PBA scoring efforts with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting while adding in seven rebounds.
Fauras stepped into the starting lineup for the injured Valentine and produced a solid 13 points on 5-of-12 field goal shooting while Carter McMasters narrowly missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
NSU was led by 17 points from Huntington who knocked down 7-of-10 shots. Roesch added 12 points off the bench.
PBA will take on Florida Tech on Wednesday, February 22nd at 7 pm in Melbourne, Florida.