Sunshine State Conference Leader Holds Off Palm Beach Atlantic

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

TAMPA, Fla.- Tied at halftime and proving to be a pesky opponent throughout, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team fell just short on Saturday afternoon as they traveled to the University of Tampa, the Sunshine State Conference regular season standings leader entering today. In the end, the Spartans withstood the Sailfish rallies and took the contest by a score of 67-57.

Now 14-3 on the season, the Fish and Spartans entered intermission tied at 29 after the Sailfish were able to connect on 44% of their first-half attempts (13-29) and hold the home-standing Spartans to just 36% (10-28). Entering the starting lineup after an injury sidelined sophomore Ashley Adkins (Nacogdoches, Texas) in their previous outing, sophomore Kim Kelly (Missouri City, Texas) paved the way for PBA’s first-half success with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.

The Fish were also aided by strong outside play of junior Sitara Richard who tallied 11 points including hitting 3-of-6 shots from beyond the arc.

Tampa guard Alexa Kane got things started in the second half for the Spartans with a two-point basket as she pushed the UT lead to 31-29 in the early goings of the second half. Kane’s basket would spark at 10-2 run to begin the second-half for Tampa and they would hold off any other runs the Sailfish had to offer down the stretch.

Utilizing a deep bench, Tampa benefited by having 22 points contributed from their reserves compared to that of only three bench points for PBA. The UT interior also did a fantastic job of limiting opportunities for PBA’s two prominent post players, sophomore’s Brooke Burgess and Haley Adcock. Averaging a combined 24 points and 17.6 rebounds, Burgess was limited to eight points and 10 rebounds while Adcock chipped in six points and five rebounds.

Kelly finished atop the statistical output for PBA as she registered a team-high 18 points while chipping in three steals and three assists. Richard rounded out the afternoon with 15 points while adding in three blocks in 39 minutes of court action.

UT registered three players in double-figures with Erica Woodard leading the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Brittany Ridley and Kane posted final totals of 14 and 11 points respectively, both from the Spartan bench. Sheena Walton pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with her seven points for UT.

After an encouraging performance against the Spartans, the Fish will return home and look forward to their next date which will be on Tuesday, January 29th for a mens’ and women’s basketball double-header with Florida Southern College. The women’s game is slated for a 5 pm tipoff followed directly by the men’s game at approximately 7 pm.

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