Sailfish and Sharks Clash in Epic Battle at the Rubin Arena

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Hunter Ross (Pictured, #1) Drives to the Basket Against Nova Southeastern at the Rubin Arena. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Hunter Ross (Pictured, #1) Drives to the Basket Against Nova Southeastern at the Rubin Arena. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team opened up their home season on Saturday night as they welcomed in Nova Southeastern University for what turned out to be not only a very entertaining game but one filled with exciting moments on both sidelines. In the end though, the veteran Sharks came out ahead down the stretch and returned home with a 72-66 victory.

Much credit should go to the Sharks who not only battled from behind but also dealt with a raucous home Sailfish crowd eager to get the basketball season started. PBA led by as many as 10 points mid-way through the first-half thanks in large part to the electric outside shooting of senior guard David Powell.

A native of Hollywood, Florida, Powell connected for his first five attempts from downtown before the Sharks could make an adjustment. Powell finished the first-half 6-of-9 from beyond the arc and 4-of-6 at the free-throw line to enter halftime with 22 points and the Fish holding on to a 40-33 lead.

In the second-half, the swarming trap defense employed by PBA head coach Terry Primm continued to work to perfection as the Sailfish forced the Sharks into 13 turnovers. That wouldn’t be enough however thanks in large part to PBA’s troubles at the free-throw line as they registered 46% mark at the charity stripe (6-13) after intermission.

Holding on to a nine point lead just 25 seconds into the second-half, PBA would fall victim to some hot shooting from NSU as they tallied a 10-0 run that was capped by a three-point basket from senior Tim Coenraad that put the Sharks ahead for the first time at the 15:44 mark.

From there the Fish would once again respond and re-take a lead as big as eight points when a tip-in basket from junior point guard Chris Joseph put PBA back in a more comfortable eight-point cushion with 11:35 remaining.

Again facing a relentless Sharks attack, PBA would relinquish the lead for good with 3:05 on the clock as a tip-in basket from Sharks forward Dionte Perry gave NSU their final lead of the contest.

Trailing 68-66 with 22 seconds remaining, the Fish would once again turn to Powell who despite his best effort would watch his three-point attempt go in and out that would have put PBA in the lead. NSU closed out the game with some clutch free-throws and took home the 72-66 victory.

After his big first-half outburst, Powell led all scorers with 23 points followed by 13 from Hunter Ross and 10 points from junior Jonathan Lawrence. Chris Joseph finished with five points, six rebounds, and four assists in 36 minutes of court action for the Fish.

Perry paced the Sharks attack with a huge night of 22 points and 14 rebounds while also adding in a pair of blocks and assists. Coenraad, NSU’s All-SSC performer, finished with 13 points despite being limited to just seven shots by a solid defensive game plan by PBA.

David Naylor and Alex Gynes each chipped in 11 points.

The Sharks held the shooting and rebounding advantage on the night as they tallied a 47% shooting percentage compared to that of a 37% for PBA while also earning a 39-29 rebounding edge.

PBA will be back in action on Tuesday, November 25th as they welcome in Saint Leo University for a double-header with the Lady Sailfish taking on the Lady Lions at 5 pm followed up by the men’s game at approximately 7 pm.

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