Sailfish Burned At Home By Valdosta State Blazers

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Battling injuries as well as a high quality opponent in Valdosta State University, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team fell on the losing end on Monday night as the Blazers leave Florida with a 2-0 sweep against their opponents.

After taking down Nova Southeastern University in a Sunday afternoon showdown, Valdosta visited PBA with the hope of pushing their record to 9-1 which they eventually did by posting a convincing 68-47 final score over the home-standing Fish.

Palm Beach Atlantic (1-11) out shot the Blazers by a 44% (18-41 FG) to 34% (24-70) margin however the Fish once again struggled handling the basketball to the tune of 23 turnovers against VSU. PBA also struggled in the rebounding department by posting only 27 boards compared to that of the Blazers who tallied 41 rebounds including 22 on the offensive end.

Valdosta came out of the gate running by connecting on back-to-back lay-ups by Julie Kongeskov and Nina Risto to start the game and pushed their game-opening advantage to 9-0 before a Kim Kelly (Missouri City, Texas) free-throw ended the shutout. PBA would put forth a run of their own over the next few minutes and cut the lead to 9-7 when sophomore Brooke Burgess (Palm City, Fla.) connected on a jumper near the basket with 11:16 remaining.

From there on however, the Blazers would slowly cushion their lead and enter halftime with a 32-21 lead over the Fish.

With an even shorter bench that usual, PBA head coach Robin Potera-Haskins was forced to play many players a lot of minutes throughout the contest. Four PBA starters played 30+ including a team-high 39 minutes by sophomore guard Ashley Adkins (Nacogdoches, Texas).

A balanced-scoring team entering play tonight, VSU stayed true to form as they produced only two scorers in double-figures with forward Nina Risto garnering team-high honors with 15 points. Risto connected on 6-of-12 shots from the field while hitting all three of her free-throw attempts. Ewelina Gad added 10 points off the bench for VSU.

PBA was once again led on the floor by Burgess who tallied her seventh consecutive “double-double” with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes of action. The Palm City, Florida native was held in check for the most part by the stingy Blazers defense as Burgess managed just eight shots while successful on five shots.

Kelly was the only other Sailfish scorer to reach double-figures on the night with 12 points and a team-high three assists. Blessed with a quick first step and the ability to make her way through traffic, Kelly also proved to be a menace on defense with a game-high six steals but also produced seven turnovers of her own.

Having dropped their past nine games, PBA will look to get back on the winning track when they travel to Florida Southern College for a contest on Friday, December 14th. First tip is scheduled for 5:30 pm in Lakeland, Florida.

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