Men's Basketball Can't Hold on as NSU Pulls Away Late for Victory

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

Junior Clayton Williams (Pictured) Led the Sailfish Scoring Efforts on Saturday with 25 Points on 7-of-11 Shooting from Beyond the 3-Point Line. Photo Courtesy of: Neil Hayes.Junior Clayton Williams (Pictured) Led the Sailfish Scoring Efforts on Saturday with 25 Points on 7-of-11 Shooting from Beyond the 3-Point Line. Photo Courtesy of: Neil Hayes.

Box Score

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- A strong team scoring output wouldn’t be enough on Saturday afternoon for the Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball team as they took on perhaps the hottest team in the Sunshine State Conference in Nova Southeastern University. Winners of three of their past four SSC contests by an average of nearly 20 points a game, the Sharks would overcome a solid Sailfish effort in upending the ‘Fish by a 97-88 score at the NSU Arena.

Junior guard Clayton Williams led a determined Palm Beach Atlantic (8-14) effort with 25 points but the high-output shooting effort of NSU (10-12) could not be slowed down as the Sharks topped 60-percent shooting in both halves of Saturday’s ballgame.

A hotly contested first-half saw a total of 11 lead changes and seven ties before a late spurt by the Sailfish saw them enter the lockeroom grasping a 47-41 halftime lead.

A trio of free-throws from senior guard Christian Martinez broke a 32-32 tie with 5:33 remaining in the first-half and PBA never trailed again in the first period.

The Sharks missed only seven shots in the first-half (17-25) for a sizzling 68-percent that included just one missed two-point field-goal opportunity as they were 4-of-10 from beyond the arc. What kept the Sailfish in the lead were forcing NSU into 10 turnovers while PBA knocked down 5-of-13 shots from behind the arc (38.5-percent) and 14-of-16 (87.5-percent) at the free-throw line.

Williams and Martinez did much of the damage for PBA in the first-half with both players totaling 10 points while NSU’s Justin Jeangerard led all scorers with 14 first-half points.

The second-half began with a bang for PBA as Williams drained two straight long-balls to begin the second period as the Sailfish pushed their lead out to 53-43 with 18:27 to play.

The momentum however would not stay with the Sailfish for long as NSU had an answer and would go on to outscore their opponent by a 56-41 margin in the second-half.

NSU took the lead at 66-65 on a Casey Carroll bucket with 11:14 to go and would never relinquish it.

Chris Page led all scorers with 28 points for the Sharks on 11-of-16 shooting while adding in six rebounds and six assists. Jeangerard was right behind with 26 points as he finished 10-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line while adding in seven rebounds in 34 minutes of action.

Williams produced predominately from beyond the arc as he completed his night with 25 points on 7-of-12 overall shooting and 4-of-5 at the charity stripe. Junior Evin Graham added another double-double performance this time by collecting 16 points and 10 assists to go with five boards and a pair of steals.

Ronnell Ross and Martinez each chipped in double-figures as well with Ross managing a near double-double of 18 points and nine rebounds while Martinez posted 16 points off the PBA bench.

NSU saw all five starters reach double-figures while their bench produced only two points.

Palm Beach Atlantic will host another South Florida SSC rival in Barry University on Wednesday, Feb. 12th at 7:30 pm for their next contest.

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