Florida Southern Wins Fast Paced Contest to Spoil PBA Senior Day
February 16, 2013
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Communications
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- It was evident from the start how No. 6-ranked Florida Southern College intended to play against Palm Beach Atlantic in men’s basketball action on Saturday. The highly-ranked Mocs pushed the tempo from the opening tip and despite a resilient effort by PBA on Senior Day, the Mocs would have enough to hold off the pesky Sailfish by a 91-70 final tally at the Rubin Arena.
A good-sized crowd filled the lower bowl of the Rubin on Saturday as a pre-game ceremony honored PBA’s four-member senior class including Salim Fauras, Matt Roy, Dante Valentine and Nate Vera.
Valentine put together a gutsy performance as the Atlanta, Ga. native tallied game-high scoring honors on his way to posting 20 points on 8-of-16 shots from the field.
On the other side it was the quick trigger shots of FSC (19-3) guards Dominic Lane, Seth Evans and Kevin Capers who helped lead the Mocs to their 19th win of the season.
Despite shooting a blistering 60.6-percent (20-33) from the field in the opening-half, the Mocs could never fully put away the Sailfish.
Each time the Mocs would extend their lead to a few baskets the Fish would seem to fire right back.
In fact it wasn’t until with 6:46 remaining in the first-half that Florida Southern tallied their first double-digit lead as Evans connected on a layup to put his team in front 31-20.
The lead would hover around this mark until halftime when FSC clung to a 46-33 advantage.
Marcus Hardy paced PBA’s attack in the opening half with 10 points while Evans and Lane each collected 10 points on the Mocs side.
After a face-paced first 20 minutes, the Mocs would look for an even faster tempo in the second stanza.
They would post 14 points on the fast-break in the second period while finishing the contest with 20 points via the fast-break.
Try as they might, PBA would never get the deficit below double-digits the rest of the way.
Beyond Valentine’s leading total, Hardy finished with 15 points while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. Roy finished with nine points while Vera tallied six points and eight boards in their final games in the Rubin.
Juniors Johnny Lantz and Jahvah Braswell also added solid totals with Lantz netting seven points off the bench and Braswell contributing a game-high 12 rebounds.
PBA performed very well at the free-throw line by knocking down 16-of-18 free-throws while also owning the rebounding edge at 39-32. The Fish were forced into 21 turnovers while the Mocs committed 16 miscues.
The Fish will battle Barry University on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 pm for their next contest as part of a Sailfish-Bucs double-header with the women's teams tipping off at 5:30 pm.