Men's Basketball Defeats Florida Tech On The Road

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardPhoto courtesy of Ron Hilliard

Box Score

MELBOURNE, Fla.- The Sailfish rallied from behind eliminating a 10-point deficit to hang on and win Saturday afternoon against the Florida Tech Panthers. Palm Beach Atlantic (14-12, 10-8 SSC) defeated the Panthers (15-13, 7-11 SSC) 80-76 in the regular-season finale to lock up a spot in the Sunshine State Conference tournament next week. For the ‘Fish, the 14-12 regular season finish is the first winning season for the program since joining the Division II ranks.

Trailing by ten points with 15 minutes remaining in regulation, the Sailfish went on to outscore the Panthers 40-26 to erase the gap and hang on to the victory.

The ‘Fish opened the afternoon up with an early advantage over the Panthers in the opening five minutes of play, before they tied things up and eventually ran the game up to an 11-point lead with a few minutes remaining in the first half. The Sailfish were able to chip into the Panther lead, as the two teams went into the half with FIT leading by seven, 40-33.

The Blue and White opened the second half on a 7-2 run to bring them within a bucket, but the Panthers regained momentum to rebuild their lead back up to 10 with 15 minutes remaining in regulation. The Sailfish then outscored the Panthers 14-4 over the next six minutes of the game, tying things up at 54 with 9:09 remaining on the clock.

The Sailfish and Panthers matched each other on the scoreboard over the next five minutes, bringing the ballgame to a 65-65 tie with 4:33 left to play. The ‘Fish went on to out-score FIT 15-11 down the stretch of the game to secure the 80-76 win.

Grant Gullett led the way for the ‘Fish scoring 24 points on the afternoon. Hitting 10-of-15 from the field while adding four points from the stripe. The junior also snagged seven rebounds, dished out two assists and swiped a steal.

Dakota Zinser hit four three-pointers en route to his 21 point night. The junior shot 6-of-11 from the field and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the line.

Shavanno Cooper picked up a double-double on the evening, grabbing an even 10 rebounds while hitting 7-of-12 from the field for 14 points on the night. The senior also picked three steals and dished out three assists.

Bakari Warthen finished with 11 points on the night as the sophomore connecting on 5-of-13 attempts, with one being from distance.

Palm Beach Atlantic returns to action this Wednesday night, March 1 in their first-ever Sunshine State Conference Tournament game. The Sailfish will host their first round game and will take on the University of Tampa Spartans at 7 p.m. for a shot at the SSC Semi-Finals in Daytona Beach, Fla.

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