Sailfish Come Up Short Vs No. 9 Drury

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardPhoto courtesy of Ron Hilliard

Box Score

BOCA RATON, Fla.- The Sailfish opened the Boca Raton Holiday Classic Friday afternoon dropping their third consecutive game, falling to No. 9 Drury University in a tightly contested battle 80-74. While the Panthers jumped out to an early lead, the Sailfish found themselves back into the ballgame pushing it to a back-and-forth affair until the final minutes of the contest. With the loss, the Sailfish fall back down to 5-5, and the No.9 Panthers continue their undefeated season at 9-0.

While the Panthers took an early lead in the opening minutes of play, a Dakota Zinser three-pointer brought the Sailfish back even at 15 with ten minutes left in the opening frame. Drury regained the lead on the next possession and even stretched their lead to a nine-point advance with 5:21 remaining in the first half. The Sailfish ended the final 3:42 of the half on a 9-4 run, bringing the game to 35-34 in favor of Drury at halftime.

Drury once again advanced their lead to open up the second half, with Zinser once again coming up big for the Sailfish. The junior’s jumper in the paint at the 15:29 mark gave the Sailfish their first lead of the contest. While the lead itself was brief, both sides exchanged blows over the next 12 minutes of play with no team gaining more than a two-possession lead.

Timely Panther shooting mixed with unfortunate Sailfish turnovers down the stretch took all momentum away from the PBA, as Drury eventually gained a 10-point lead in the final two minutes of play. The Sailfish applied pressure in the final 60 seconds, but it was too little, too late as the ‘Fish dropped the contest.

Despite the loss, five Sailfish finished the night with double-digit scoring numbers. Grant Gullett led the way with a baker’s dozen 13 points, four rebounds, and a pair of steals on the afternoon. Milos Kostic and Malek Barber finished the afternoon with 12 points a piece respectively. Kostic connected on 4-of-8 attempts from distance, while Barber connected on 4-of-5 from the field and also hit 4-of-5 from the stripe.

Zinser finished 5-of-11 from the field while connecting on one three-pointer for 11 points Friday afternoon, and Bakari Warthen finished with 10 points.

On the night, the Sailfish shot 39.3 (24-of-61) percent as a team, and the Panthers connected on 50.8 (32-of-63) percent. The Panthers were led by Tevin Foster, who finished with 23 points and five rebounds.

The Sailfish have a quick turnaround as they return to the De Hornle Sports Complex tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 17 as they take on Pace University at 5:30 p.m. on the campus of Lynn University.

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