Second Half Surge Propels Sailfish To Victory In Tampa

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardPhoto courtesy of Ron Hilliard

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla.- For the first time since the 2011-2012 season, Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball team left the Bob Martinez Center on the campus of the University of Tampa victorious over the Spartans. The ‘Fish rallied late in the second half to overcome what was a 10-point deficit to conquer the Spartans 82-73 Wednesday night.

The first half of action was a seesaw battle between the ‘Fish and Spartans during the opening 15 minutes of play, as no team saw a lead greater than six points in that time frame. In those 15 minutes of play, the game saw the score tied on four occasions with eight lead changes. The final four and a half minutes of the opening stanza went heavily in favor of the home squad, as Tampa finished the opening half on a 13-6 run, taking a 44-36 lead into the half.

The Spartans continued their lead to start off the second half, but a resilient Sailfish ball club chipped away while they could, eventually cutting the deficit to a bucket following a 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line for Trey Koonce at the 14:10 mark. The Spartan lead fluctuated over the next six minutes, but the Sailfish outscored Tampa 12-10 in those six minutes, tying the ballgame up courtesy of a Dakota Zinser layup with 8:12 left to play. The ‘Fish went on a 20-11 run over the remainder of the contest, failing to concede their lead to the Spartans, before reaching the final score of 82-73.

Leading the Sailfish overall Wednesday night was Lucas Morales. While the junior did not lead the team individually in points, the Oakland, Fla. native finished the night with a double-double, 12 points and 12 rebounds. Morales picked up nine of his 12 points hitting 3-of-6 from downtown, leading the Sailfish in the category.

Freshman De'Ondre Jackson led the ‘Fish in total points on the night with 20, shooting 81.2 (9-of-11) percent from the field. The freshman also dished out three assists.

Bakari Warthen finished the game with 12 points while giving out four assists, adding two blocks, and swiping two steals. Warthen finished second on the night in steals, as freshman Matthew Johnson led the way with three steals.

For Tampa, Marcel Robinson finished the night with 21 points scored, while Duke Shelton finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

As a team, the Sailfish shot 53.2 (33-62) percent from the field and connected on 70.6 (12-of-17) percent from the charity stripe. The bench played a key factor for PBA Wednesday night, as they accumulated 29 points.

With the win, the Sailfish move to 5-2 (2-1, SSC) on the season and return to action this Saturday, Dec. 3, in Lakeland, Fla. as they take on Florida Southern College in the George Jenkins Field House, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. tipoff.

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