Sailfish Win Overtime Thriller 99-96 over Florida Southern

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- It took overtime to settle things between the Sailfish and the Florida Southern College Mocs Saturday afternoon, as the ‘Fish came out victorious 99-96 over the defending NCAA National Champions. The Sailfish (5-5) are victorious over the Mocs for the first time since Jan. 29, 2008, when the ‘Fish won 81-75.

The Sailfish jumped out to a hot start in the opening minutes, as they were able to take a 10-point advantage over the opening ten minutes. Florida Southern chipped away at the Sailfish lead over the opening half, but a resilient Sailfish squad wouldn’t bend as the ‘Fish took a 45-42 lead into halftime.

The Sailfish made a few runs to open the second half, but were unable to bust things open as the Mocs swung momentum their way as they tied things up with seven minutes to play. Florida Southern kept momentum in their favor and took a 10-point lead with four minutes left in regulation before the ‘Fish were able to cut the deficit.

Trailing 83-81 with 19 seconds left in regulation, Michael Simpson stole a Florida Southern in-bounds pass and dished it to Shavanno Cooper who gave the ball to Bakari Warthen who finished with an emphatic slam to tie things up in the final seconds. Florida Southern’s Michael Volovic’s last second three fell short and sent things to overtime.

Overtime followed suit as both teams matched each other over the first few minutes of overtime, until a Michael Simpson three-pointer with 2:17 left on the clock gave the Sailfish a three-point lead, which they would not relinquish for the remaining minutes.

The Sailfish had six players reach the double-digit scoring mark, and were led by Michael Simpson’s career-high 21 points. The senior from Spring, Texas was 6-for-10 from distance, which is also a career-high.

Milos Kostic finished the night with 16 points, five rebounds, and six assists. He was followed by Shavanno Cooper’s 15 and five rebound performance. Bakari Warthen finished the evening with 14 points and nine rebounds, knocking down a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Freshman Malek Barber finished with 12 points and five rebounds, and senior Lucas Morales finished the night with the only double-double for the Sailfish, with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The Mocs saw three players score over 20 points, as Dylan Travis scored 29, Michael Volovic scored 27, and Dominique Williams score 20. Only four other Moccasins scored on the night.

The Sailfish are back in action Thursday, December 17 as part of a double header with the Sailfish women’s basketball team as they both host Benedict College, with the men’s game scheduled for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

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