Georgia College Too Tough as Sailfish Drop Second Game at West Florida

Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Communications

Senior Matthew Gierl (Pictured) Delivered 12 Points and a Career-High 14 Rebounds on Saturday in the Loss to Georgia College and State University.Senior Matthew Gierl (Pictured) Delivered 12 Points and a Career-High 14 Rebounds on Saturday in the Loss to Georgia College and State University.

Box Score

PENSACOLA, Fla.- After a run-and-gun type of effort one night earlier the Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball team had the tough task of returning to the court 24 hours later on Saturday as they participated in their second game at the McDonald Fleming Moorhead Tip-Off Classic. Taking on a deep and tough-nosed Georgia College and State squad, the Sailfish would fall for a second straight night as GC rode a strong first-half defensive effort in defeating PBA 86-65.

Sophomore Marcus Hardy went for his second straight 18 point output as the Detroit, Michigan native also collected his first double-double of the season as he pulled down 11 rebounds. Senior front-court mate Matthew Gierl would also prove effective on the glass as he grabbed a career-high 14 boards including eight on the offensive side to pair with 12 points for his first career double-double.

Outside shooting and their work at the free-throw line would prove to be the difference on Saturday as the Fish were just 6-of-29 (20.7 percent) from long-range while connecting on 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) shots at the free-throw line.

The Bobcats (1-0) utilized their fresh legs in taking on the Sailfish for their season opener as guard Nate Hamilton led the way on 10-of-19 shooting while jacking up a total of 17 three-pointers. Thankfully for Hamilton and the Bobcats he would connect on eight treys for the night as he posted 28 points in 30 minutes of floor time.

Committed to the outside shot, the Bobcats connected on over 50 percent of their long range attempts as they finished 16-of-33 from beyond the arc.

The early stages of the contest looked as if the Sailfish would run away with a key regional victory.

PBA jumped out to a quick 14-5 lead capped by a Hardy jumper midway through the first-half then pushed their advantage to double-digits a few minutes later as senior Dante Valentine connected on a layup to give his team an 18-8 edge.

The Bobcats would have an answer however as they rattled off a 25-4 run over the next several minutes to move in front themselves by double-digits.

The Georgia lead would settle at 39-28 at halftime as the Bobcats shook off their shaky start in a big way.

Although a quick 3-pointer from PBA senior guard Matt Roy to start the half would get the GC lead under ten points, the Cats would once again claw their way back to a sizable advantage as they put forth a 15-3 run to put the game out of reach.

One night removed from his impressive 30-point showing in his PBA debut, junior guard Christian Martinez would come off the bench and follow Hardy in the scorer’s column with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting. He also led PBA with six assists.

Valentine finished with nine points and six rebounds in his season debut after sitting out last night’s contest.

PBA will travel to Lynn University in nearby Boca Raton, Florida for their next contest as they continue their five-game road swing to start the season. The Sailfish and Knights split the season series last year with PBA winning in Boca in overtime. The two squads will tip off at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, November 14th. 

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