Simpson Surpasses Two Career Marks in 88-86 Win over Rollins College

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron IrbyPhoto courtesy of Ron Irby

Box Score

WINTER PARK, Fla.- Down 86-85 with just 21 seconds left in regulation, the ‘Fish turned to senior Michael Simpson for the go-ahead shot, and he would not disappoint as he drained another three-pointer to give the Sailfish the 88-86 lead. Up by a bucket with the final seconds dwindling down, a Nigel Sydnor steal would finish it off sealing the 88-86 victory for Palm Beach Atlantic. With the win, the 'Fish are now 9-6 on the year.

Simpson put on a three-point clinic Saturday afternoon on the campus of Rollins College. The Spring, Texas native snagged two career marks during the game, surpassing his career-high in total points with 29 and made three-pointers with eight. Simpson also finished the afternoon leading the Sailfish with seven rebounds.

The first half saw back and forth action as there were five lead changes in the opening 20 minutes, and the widest margin either team saw was an eight-point advantage for the Tars with 1:07 left on the clock in the first half. The ‘Fish were able to cut the deficit in the final 67 seconds thanks to three-pointers from Simpson and Derick Yepes.

The Sailfish were out-shot in the first half by the Tars from the field, behind the arc, and from the charity stripe. All while managing only a two-point deficit at the half as the ‘Fish trailed by a basket, 43-41.

Momentum was surely in favor of the blue and white as the second half opened, as the Sailfish quickly tied things up, and eventually took a 13-point lead in the opening six minutes of the second half. The Tars slowly fought their way back into the game, bringing things within one possession with 11:01 on the clock before the Sailfish regained an 11-points lead just four minutes later. With just 6:57 left to play and PBA leading 77-66, it looked like smooth sailing towards the finish, but the Tars scrapped their way back into the game and eventually took their first lead of the second half with 3:10 left in to play by a score of 81-79.

Ice-cold shooting for the Tars matched by red-hot shooting from the Sailfish capped off the final three minutes of play, as Rollins only connected on two of their final seven shots in the game and Palm Beach Atlantic connected on four of their last five to finish things off.

Shooting percentage wise, the ‘Fish were far superior in the second half, as the ‘Fish out-shot the Tars 51.5 percent to 38.2 percent from the field, 52.9 percent to 26.7 percent from downtown, and 80 percent to 65 percent from the free-throw line.

Freshman Malek Barber also had himself a career afternoon, as the freshman put up his best scoring outing of his young career, finishing with 20 points and six rebounds. The North Port, Fla. native shot six-of-eleven from the field, knocked down his only three-point attempt, and was seven-of-eight from the charity stripe. Barber also shined the glass for six boards.

Bakari Warthen also finished the afternoon in double-figures. Scoring 14 points, the freshman also dished out five assists.

The Tars were led offensively by Sam Philpott and Joey Galvis, who finished with 16 and 13 points respectively.

Palm Beach Atlantic, winners of five of their last six, head down to Boca Raton Wednesday, Jan. 20 to take on cross-county foes Lynn University at 7:30 p.m. The Sailfish head back home to the Rubin Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 27 as they host Embry-Riddle University beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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