Sailfish Overcome Second Half Deficit to Defeat Florida Tech 78-71

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Freshman Malek Barber (pictured) played a key role in the 78-71 victory for the 'Fish. Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardFreshman Malek Barber (pictured) played a key role in the 78-71 victory for the 'Fish. Photo courtesy of Ron Hilliard

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- It took all of five minutes into the second half for the visiting Florida Tech Panthers to take an 11-point lead over the Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball team Saturday night in the Rubin Arena, but a relentless Sailfish ball club battled back to regain the lead with eight minutes remaining in regulation.

A layup from Malek Barber with 8:01 left to play in regulation gave the Sailfish a 58-57 lead, a lead they would not relinquish as they capitalized on a 13-0 run that gave the ‘Fish a 67-60 lead with four and a half minutes in regulation. That 67-60 lead eventually turned into a 78-71 final score in favor of the blue and white, and with the win the ‘Fish are now 7-6 on the season.

The first half was a back-and-forth contest as the lead changed on ten occasions and included four ties, and as the teams went to the locker rooms at the half, the Panthers were in possession of a one-point lead, 36-35.

Three Sailfish finished the night in double-digit scoring figures as Bakari Warthen led the way with 21 points on the night. He was followed by Osandai Vaughn’s 14 points and Malek Barber’s 12. Warthen finished with six steals, six rebounds, and two assists. Vaughn snagged five boards and dished out two assists, and Barber added four rebounds of his own on the night.

The ‘Fish finished the night shooting 49.1 percent from the field (28-57) while knocking down 41.2 percent from downtown (7-17). PBA dominated down-low, scoring 38 points in the paint versus the Panther’s 18. The ‘Fish also outscored FIT off turnovers 24-16, via the fast break 18-2, and off the bench 28-11.

The Panthers were led offensively on the night by Patrick Anderson and Sam Daniel. Anderson finished with 23 points while Daniel finished with 14.

The Sailfish look to keep things going Wednesday night, Jan. 14 as they host the University of Tampa in the Rubin Arena with a scheduled 7:30 p.m. start time.

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