Sailfish Hang Tough But Fall to No. 20 Virginia Union
December 15, 2015
Written By: Kennie Silvestri, Sports Information Assistant
WINTER PARK, Fla. – The Palm Beach Atlantic women’s basketball team played a thrilling back-and-forth game on Tuesday evening, as they went down to the wire with No. 20 Virginia Union University. The Sailfish came up just short however, as they were outscored 33-20 in the fourth quarter and fell to the Panthers by a final of 82-72.
After yesterday’s first half saw the Sailfish shoot just 13 percent from the field and accumulate just 19 points, the ‘Fish came out firing on Tuesday night, shooting 38 percent from the field and receiving 14 first half points from sophomore Hannah Grim. The Sailfish outrebounded the Panthers 33-22 in the half, getting nine from Nkiru Anyagaligbo and eight from Ayanna Holmes.
The Sailfish held Virginia Union to just 27 percent shooting in the first half and held Kiana Johnson, who is second in Division II in scoring average at 23 PPG, to just eight points on 2-of-8 shooting in the half. The Sailfish took a 37-31 lead into the break.
The Panthers came out of the break on fire offensively, as they shot a blistering 60 percent in the third quarter. The Sailfish hung tough in the quarter, and held onto a 52-49 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Sailfish lead continued into the fourth quarter until Karigan Awkward hit a shot from long range to tie the game at 52. Darsan DeShazier responded with a three of her own to regain the Sailfish lead 55-52. Virginia Union continued their hot shooting, going on an eight-to-three run over the next seven minutes to open up a five-point lead of their own.
The Panther lead lasted until the five-minute mark in the fourth quarter when Nina Krstic and Janelle Cannon got going offensively, hitting back-to-back field goals and regaining the Sailfish lead 65-63. The Panthers responded to the Sailfish run, finishing the game on a 19-7 run of their own, as Kiana Johnson found her stride in the second half, finishing the game with 34 points on 10-of-18 shooting.
Five Sailfish players finished in double-figures, as Grim led the ‘Fish with 18 points, followed by Anyagaligbo with 12 of her own to go with 11 rebounds. Krstic, the Sailfish leading scorer on the season, finished the game with 11 points as Holmes and Cannon finished with 10 apiece.
Following the game, senior Ayanna Holmes was named to the 2015 Rollins Holliday Invitational All-Tournament Team. The Senior had 15 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Pfeiffer University on Monday to go with her 10 points and nine rebounds before fouling out of the game against Virginia Union.
The Sailfish will return to the court on Thursday evening at Rubin Arena, as they will host No. 24 ranked Benedict at 5 p.m.