Sailfish Use Big Second-Half Push to Take Down UPR-Mayaguez 93-63

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

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- A balanced scoring attack mixed with a strong defensive effort helped lead the Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball team to a 93-63 win over the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Saturday afternoon at the Rubin Arena. The victory in their home opener improves the ‘Fish to 2-0 on the season as they begin a four game home stand.

A solid first-half shooting effort by the Sailfish of 51.5-percent (17-33) would be an appetizer for an even better team effort in the second-half as the ‘Fish finally distanced themselves from a pesky Tarzans (1-3) team with their second-half push.

A hot start and up-tempo style led PBA immediately out of the gate as they stormed ahead 14-7 when Ronnell Ross buried a 3-pointer with 14:56 to play in the first-half.

From that point moving forward PBA would extend their first-half lead to as many as 18 points as Michael Simpson knocked down two free-throws late in the stanza to move in front 42-24. They would go on to settle for a 45-28 lead at the break.

Evin Graham led the Sailfish scoring efforts in the opening period with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting while Simpson added in eight points off the bench.

After the Tarzans came out reenergized in the second-half, briefly cutting the PBA lead back to single-digits and as close as five points, the ‘Fish regrouped and began to flex their muscles and pull away.

With the lead trimmed to 56-51 and 12:45 remaining on the clock after a Giovanni Guzman 3-pointer, the ‘Fish once again found their stride.

From that point on the ‘Fish closed out the game on a 37-12 run that made a close game early in the second-half into a blowout final score.

The Sailfish knocked down 66.7-perecent (14-21) of their second-half shots en route to a 57.4-percent (31-54) mark for the game. They hit 9-of-18 from beyond-the-arc and finished with a better showing at the charity stripe than recent games as they hit 22-of-27 for 81.5-percent to close out the win.

Ross and Derek Yepes topped the team leaderboard in points as both netted 16 points to lead five double-digit scorers on the night. Simpson and fellow junior Nigel Sydnor each topped double-digits off the bench with Simpson registering 13 points and Sydnor chipping in 10 points. Graham was the final Sailfish player to top double-digits as he added in 11 points.

No PBA player topped 29 minutes of court time on the night while a total of 10 players registered points as head coach David Balza continues to showcase his improved depth. 

The ‘Fish will be off from game action until Wednesday, Nov. 26th when they host another team from Puerto Rico as they will welcome in UPR-Rio Piedras for a showdown at 1 pm in the Rubin Arena.

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