Turnovers Cost the Fish a Chance at Senior Night Win Over Florida Southern
February 25, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team welcomed in Florida Southern College on Saturday evening at the Rubin Arena for what would be the final game of the 2011-12 season. The Sailfish played hard throughout even frustrating the Moccasins at times but in the end Florida Southern overcame a halftime deficit to overtake the Sailfish by a 90-76 final score.
A nice-sized crowd was on-hand for the first Sailfish home game since a January14th meeting with Eckerd College as the crowd and PBA team honored seniors Terrell Terry and Schuyler Gray in a pre-game ceremony.
The name of the game turned out to be turnovers as the Fish forced the Moccasins (17-9) into 19 miscues however PBA had 27 turnovers of their own.
Palm Beach Atlantic (4-22) jumped out to an early-lead as they pushed ahead by as many as 11 points in the opening-half when junior Ian Sitz nailed a pair of free-throws with 6:48 to play as the Fish led 23-12.
Early on it was the carelessness of the FSC side that allowed for PBA to maneuver into easy scoring chances on the offensive end. The first-half featured the Sailfish forcing the Mocs into 14 turnovers as they led 39-35 at the break. Sitz led all scorers with 14 first-half points while Matthew Gierl chipped in with 10 points off the bench for the Fish.
The Mocs also received a solid effort from a bench player as Kevin Capers added 10 points.
Perhaps changing their strategy in the lockeroom at halftime, the Mocs proved to be a different team in the second-half as they had only five turnovers while improving upon their 46.4 percent (13-28) shooting effort in the opening half all the way to 55.3 percent (21-38) in the second period.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from FSC’s Capers and Seth Evans quickly put the Mocs back on top to start the second-half and despite some jockeying of the score to come it would quickly become the Mocs game to lose.
With the score tied at 52-52 following a pair of Evans free-throws with 13:34 to go in the game, the Mocs would run off a 10-0 run keyed by four points inside by forward Brett Bailey to move in front 62-52.
The FSC lead would grow to as many as 15 points down the stretch for the Moccasins as they closed out the 14-point win.
PBA was paced by 18 points from Sitz who finished 6-of-11 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Dante Valentine added 16 points with seven rebounds while Terry chipped in 13 points in his final collegiate game.
Florida Southern was led by Capers and his 22 points off the bench while Evans added in 16 points and Dominic Lane produced 15 points. Garrett Putman led all players with 11 rebounds.