Sailfish Knock Off Top-Seeded Buccaneers, Advance to SSC Title Game
March 4, 2017
Written By: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- Palm Beach Atlantic will play for their first Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday after knocking off the top-seeded Buccaneers from Barry University in overtime, 97-95, on Saturday night.
Four Sailfish (16-12) finished in double figures in the win for the tournament’s No. 4 seed Bakari Warthen led the way for PBA as the sophomore finished with a career-high 28 points. He also snagged 10 rebounds for his first double-double on the season.
Down two points to open up overtime, Grant Gullett hit his first career three-pointer to put the Sailfish back up 82-81 with 3:35 left in the extra session. Gullett finished with 18 points on the night while grabbing 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double on the season.
Down the stretch, the Sailfish connected on 11-of-14 free throws, while hitting both of their field goal attempts to notch the overtime victory. A final 3-point attempt by the Bucs (22-6) came up short as the ‘Fish secured their first trip to the SSC Championship game in their first season of postseason eligibility in the league.
The game got to overtime after the ‘Fish erased a 14-point deficit early in the second half. PBA trailed 57-43 just a minute into the second half before a 10-0 run over the next 3:38 closed the gap to four.The Sailfish tied the game at 60-60 on a Warthen jumper with 11:42 to play, the third tie of the game.
The Bucs looked to be pulling away with over seven minutes to play as they took a six point lead but Warthen went on a 6-0 run of his own to pull PBA back even. There were five more ties in the final six minutes of regulation before the game got to overtime as Barry’s Elvar Fridriksson made a pair of free throws with six seconds to play.
Outside of a 10-7 lead at the 15:53 mark for the Sailfish, Barry controlled the entire first half. The Buccaneers led by as many as 13 in the half, as they controlled the contest for the first twenty minutes of play.
Warthen made 10-of-20 from the floor and made 6-of-7 at the free throw line. As a team the ‘Fish went to the line 49 times, making 35. Barry was 24-of-32 at the line.
Malek Barber paced the ‘Fish early in the second half, scoring eight of his 18 points of the night during the initial comeback. He finished 8-of-10 from the free throw line and also grabbed seven rebounds on the night.
Shavanno Cooper finished with 13 points on the night, hitting 5-of-8 from the field while connecting on 3-of-6 from the charity stripe. He added seven rebounds as the Sailfish outrebounded the Bucs 47-38.
PBA shot 45.3 percent from the floor overall while holding Barry to 41.9 percent. The ‘Fish made 4-of-18 from beyond the arc as the Bucs connected on 9-of-29.
With the win the Sailfish advance to the Sunshine State Conference Tournament championship tomorrow afternoon, and will take on Rollins College at 4 p.m. The No. 3 seeded Tars defeated No. 2 seed Eckerd College on Saturday, 81-70. Rollins won both matchups with PBA during the regular season.
Sunday’s championship game will be available on ESPN3 or on the WatchESPN app. The WatchESPN app is available on tablets, mobile devices, AppleTV, Xbox and Roku. To see a full list of ways to watch ESPN3 and WatchESPN and to find out how to watch, click here.