Valentine's Big Return Not Enough as PBA Men's Basketball Drops Road Contest at Florida Tech

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

Dante Valentine (Pictured) Produced a Team-High 23 Points on Wednesday in an 85-75 Loss at Florida Tech. Photo Courtesy of: Guzman Photography. Dante Valentine (Pictured) Produced a Team-High 23 Points on Wednesday in an 85-75 Loss at Florida Tech. Photo Courtesy of: Guzman Photography.

Box Score

MELBOURNE, Fla.- After a recent absence due to injury, Palm Beach Atlantic University junior guard Dante Valentine returned with a flourish on Wednesday evening as he poured in a team-high of 23 points as his Sailfish took on Florida Tech at the Clemente Center. His efforts unfortunately wouldn’t be enough to take down the Panthers who improved to 20-5 on the season behind Anthony Jackson’s 30 points as they took the contest over PBA by a score of 85-75.

Jackson and fellow front-court teammate Derek Hellemann led the way for a big first-half for Florida Tech as each poured in double-figures with Jackson netting 13 points and Hellemann adding in 11 more points. The Panthers would jump out quick on the Sailfish (4-21) who fell behind 18-8 on a Jackson layup with 13:23 to go until halftime.

The first-half FIT lead would grow to as many as 24 points on a Hellemann free-throw with 1:34 to go before halftime as they settled for a 44-20 lead at halftime. The Panthers shot a blistering 52.9 percent (18-34) in the opening half while limiting the Sailfish to 28.1 percent (9-32) shooting from the field.

After a quiet three-point output in the first-half, Valentine would look to carry his team back into contention in the second stanza as he managed 20 points in the second-half.

Unfortunately for the Fish the advantage would grow too large with not enough time on the clock as they could not break the FIT lead under 10 points.

Jackson was a big factor in the win for Florida Tech as he finished 11-of-17 from the field while adding in six rebounds to go with his 30 points in 26 minutes of court time.

Hellemann added 19 points on a 7-of-9 shooting performance while Edgars Eglitis rounded out the front-court production with 13 points and six boards. Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year candidate, Simon Cummings, was limited to only four points on a 1-of-8 shooting night.

Valentine finished 8-of-13 from the field while producing a strong 4-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also added in five assists and four steals.

Junior Ian Sitz registered 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

PBA will wrap up their season on Saturday, February 25th with a home contest versus Florida Southern College at 4 pm in the Rubin Arena.

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