Sailfish Torch Blazers in Shootout 95-86

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardPhoto courtesy of Ron Hilliard

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After falling a night ago in part to the three-ball, the Sailfish decided on Sunday that the long-distance shot was the way to go, as Palm Beach Atlantic outlasted Valdosta State 95-86 in a shootout in the finale of the Jay McCormick Classic Sunday afternoon. The Sailfish and Blazers hit a combined 21 threes on the evening, with PBA landing 10.

Palm Beach Atlantic had five players finish the afternoon in double digit figures, with three of them reaching season-high performances as well. Freshman De'Ondre Jackson led all scorers in the contest with his season-high 27 points. The Youngstown, Ohio native knocked down 11-of-14 from the field including three three-pointers. He also grabbed five defensive rebounds, a block, and a steal on the afternoon.

Junior Dakota Zinser got off to a hot start in the opening half and finished the day tying a career-high with 17 points. The Green Bay, Wis. native landed 3-of-4 from distance en route to his 7-of-8 from the field in the game.

While Zinser got off to a hot start, so did the junior from Belgrade, Serbia, as Milos Kostic finished with a season-high 14 points on the night, scoring 12 of them in the opening frame, going a perfect 3-for-3 from distance, while adding another three points from the charity stripe.

The first few minutes of the contest went back and forth between the Blazers and Sailfish until a dunk from Valdosta States’ Saadiq Muhammad put the Blazers up by six points four minutes into the game. Following the dunk, the ‘Fish went on a 10-2 run to give them their first advantage of the afternoon. The Blazers quickly retaliated and regained a lead that they held on to until the 10:49 minute mark on the clock as Jackson slammed a dunk home for PBA officially switching momentum for the remainder of the contest. Following the Jackson dunk, the Sailfish lead grew and shrunk for the remainder of the contest, but it never completely evaporated as PBA led the rest of the way.

The widest margin the Sailfish held came at the 5:14 mark in the second half, as a Zinser layup gave the ‘Fish a 14-point advantage.

The Sailfish were able to keep their lead in the second half of play in thanks to Malek Barber, as the sophomore scored 11 points in the second half, snapping his 0-for-3 start from the field in the first half. The North Port, Fla. native also snagged five rebounds in the game, three defensive and two offensive.

Bakari Warthen also finished in double-figures, as the sophomore finished Sunday’s game with 17 points. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native led the way in rebounds for The Blue and White, grabbing six boards. He also dished out three assists and swiped four steals on the day.

Leading the way for Valdosta State was Sheldon Zablotny, as he finished 9-of-16 from the field, but hit an impressive 7-of-11 from distance to finish with 25 points.

As a team, PBA finished Sunday shooting 56.9 (37-of-65) percent, including 50 (10-of-20) percent from distance and 68.8 (11-for-16) percent from the charity stripe. The ‘Fish capitalized on 17 Blazer turnovers for 26 points, and scored 19 on the night courtesy of the fast break. While the Sailfish finished with 30 of their 95 points from distance, they also finished the afternoon scoring 50 points inside the paint.

With the win, Palm Beach Atlantic is now 4-2 to start off the season. Due to a last-minute change in schedule, they will head to Tampa on Wednesday evening to take on the Spartans in a Sunshine State Conference doubleheader with the women’s team as well. The men’s tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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