Strong Second Half Lead the Sailfish To Win In Home Opener
November 22, 2016
Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- A 54-point second half fueled Palm Beach Atlantic to victory in their home opener Tuesday night. The Sailfish (3-1) had four players reach double-digit scoring figures en route to the 86-71 victory over Puerto Rico-Bayamon (1-2).
Despite never trailing in the contest, the Sailfish struggled in the opening half to distance themselves from the Vaqueros. Leading by as many as 10 with 4:48 left on the clock in the first half, the lead eventually diminished to a two-point ballgame at halftime.
The ‘Fish took charge early in the second half, using momentum to rebuild their lead to 13 in less than five minutes of action in the half thanks to Dakota Zinser’s lone three-pointer of the evening. Zinser also finished in double-digits Tuesday night, as the junior landed 5-of-7 from the field for 11 points. Second half free throws kept the Sailfish out in front by double digits for the remainder of the contest as they knocked down 84.6 (11-of-13) percent from the charity stripe in the final stanza.
Turnovers and second chance points were key for the Sailfish Tuesday night, as PBA scored 19 points off 23 Vaquero turnovers, and they added 10 points on second chance opportunities. PBA was also aided by 13 fast break points on the night.
Sophomore Bakari Warthen led the scoring charge Tuesday night, finishing the night with 18. The West Palm Beach native knocked down 7-of-13 from the field and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. Warthen also grabbed eight rebounds on the night, five defensive and three offensive.
Malek Barber finished the evening with 17 points, as the sophomore hit 7-of-10 from the field and added three free throws on the night. Barber also snagged eight boards, wiping the glass six times on the offensive side and snagging two defensive boards.
De'Ondre Jackson scored 16 on the night, connecting on 5-of-9 from the field, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line.
Lucas Morales led the ‘Fish in assists and steals on the evening, as the forward dished out six assists while also swiping the ball four times from Puerto Rico-Bayamon.
The Sailfish will take a few days off for the Thanksgiving holiday but will return to action Saturday afternoon, Nov. 26 in the opening day of the latest Jay McCormick Classic, as they take on Lee University in the Rubin Arena, scheduled for a 4 p.m. tipoff. The Sailfish will then finish off the second day of The Classic Sunday, Nov. 27 against Valdosta State University, also scheduled for a 4 p.m. tipoff.