Solid Second Half Effort Not Enough as Sailfish Fall to Stetson in Exhibition Contest

Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations

Marko Djekovic (Pictured) Finished 2-for-2 from Beyond the Arc and 2-for-2 at the Foul Line for Eight Points Off the Bench Versus Stetson. Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins.Marko Djekovic (Pictured) Finished 2-for-2 from Beyond the Arc and 2-for-2 at the Foul Line for Eight Points Off the Bench Versus Stetson. Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins.

DELAND, Fla.- The Sailfish men’s basketball team took to the court against someone other than themselves on Monday evening for the first time this season as they traveled to DeLand to take on NCAA Division I, Stetson University in an exhibition contest at the Edmunds Center. Although they would outscore the Hatters in the second-half, PBA could not make up enough ground from a 13-point halftime deficit and fell 71-61 on the road.

The preseason tuneup comes eight days before the Sailfish will officially kickoff the 2013-14 season under first-year head coach David Balza when the team travels to Winter Park, Fla. to take on Rollins College on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 pm.

On Monday the Sailfish were matched up against a Hatters team who finished third in the Atlantic Sun Conference last season while victorious in their other previous exhibition against the likes of the University of Tampa on Oct. 26.

Monday saw the Sailfish jump out to a quick 5-0 lead when newcomer Clayton Williams drilled a 3-pointer just 13 seconds into the game followed by a bucket from another new face in Evan Graham the next time down the floor.

Things would remain in the ‘Fish favor until the 14:55 minute mark of the first-half as a 3-pointer from Stetson’s Raymone Andrews tied the score at 10-10.

After moving in front by four points at 14-10 on a pair of Marcus Hardy free-throws and a bucket from Ronnell Ross the Sailfish saw the hot outside shooting of the Hatters kick-in as they rattled off an 11-0 run to take the lead and never look back.

Stetson led 44-31 at the break after limiting PBA to an 8-of-21 (38.1-percent) shooting performance in the first-half. PBA kept themselves in the contest by performing well at the foul line where they cashed in on 11-of-13 attempts (84.6-percent) in the opening half of play.

The second-half would feature a few different runs by both teams with the Sailfish unable to get closer than seven points down the stretch. PBA outscored SU by a 30-27 lead in the second-half.

Palm Beach Atlantic finished with a 41.2-percent (21-51) shooting mark in the game while Stetson was slightly better at 43.3-percent (26-60). The rebounding also finished very close with the Hatters holding just a slim 38-37 advantage. The main difference came in the turnovers department as PBA was forced into 25 miscues while SU had 17 turnovers.

The Sailfish were paced by 12 points from Graham as he finished with a 4-of-8 shooting performance while Marcus Hardy added in 10 points on an identical 4-of-8 shooting mark. Christian Martinez contributed nine points off the bench while Marko Djeckovic and Garet Tucker each performed well with perfect shooting nights from the field at 2-of-2. Djeckovic hit both of his 3-point attempts and both shots at the charity stripe for eight points off the bench while Tucker added in six points with 2-of-2 from the floor and 2-of-2 at the line.

Alan Hardy added seven points off the bench as well.

The Hatters were led by two reserves with Andrews leading all players with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting while B.J. Glasford delivered 12 points in only 14 minutes of court time.

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