Jonathan Lawrence Plays the Hero as PBA Takes Down Eckerd on the Road

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Johnathan Lawrence (Pictured) Scored the Last Five PBA Points Including the Game-Winner with .4 Seconds Remaining. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Johnathan Lawrence (Pictured) Scored the Last Five PBA Points Including the Game-Winner with .4 Seconds Remaining. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- After a tough home opening loss on Saturday against Nova Southeastern University, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team came out on Monday night with an obvious hunger for a victory. The Sailfish got that victory against a tough Eckerd College team as junior Jonathan Lawrence nailed a long jump shot with just 0.4 seconds remaining to give the Fish the big victory. 

A tight game throughout, it appeared however that the home-standing Tritons may overtake the Fish in the second-half after the Fish entered the lockeroom with a 38-37 halftime lead. EC led by as many as 10 points in the second-half before allowing the Fish to claw their way back into contention.

The last minute of the ballgame was one that many fans from either side won’t soon forget.

EC broke a 68-68 tie with 1:13 remaining when guard John Harper connected for a jumper to give the Tritons a temporary lead. The next time down the floor it would be Lawrence who would step up as the Miami Gardens, Florida native drilled his only three-point attempt of the game to put PBA up by one at 71-70.

A veteran club, EC fed off the home crowd at the McArthur Center as a backdoor lay-up from Chris Gray gave the Tritons another lead with just 15 ticks left on the clock.

After an Eckerd timeout followed by an inbounds pass came across the half court line it would be time for a PBA final timeout and a play drawn up by second-year head coach Terry Primm.

After an inbound pass left senior forward Manny Lopez without a viable shot, Lopez fired the ball cross court to the right wing where he found an open Lawrence who drilled a long two-point jump shot that left the Tritons with just 0.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

“These kids would never give up and I’m so proud of their efforts tonight,” said Primm after the hard fought victory.

“We were down and they just would not quit. We have another tough test tomorrow night and we pray that we will be ready for another battle against another quality Sunshine State Conference opponent in Saint Leo,” continued Primm.

Scoring PBA’s final five points, Lawrence finished with game-high honors with 22 points on 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line. Following Lawrence was Lopez with 14 points, Hunter Ross with 12 points, and David Powell with 10 points.

Harper led the scoring efforts for EC with 17 points while Lewis Lampley was the only other Tritons player to reach double-figures with 11 points respectively.

While EC held the shooting advantage on the night with a solid 52% shooting clip (29-56) compared to that of 48% (23-48) it would be the Fish who would hit the shots they needed for victory. Many of those shots came from the charity stripe as PBA rebounded from a poor free-throw shooting performance in their last outing against NSU to connect for 24-of-27 trips to the line on Monday night.

Ranked #3 in the preseason Sunshine State Conference polls, Eckerd College (3-0) was coming off an impressive 31 point victory in their last outing as they defeated the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras last Friday.

The Fish (2-3) will return to the floor on Tuesday evening as they welcome in Saint Leo University as a part of a men’s and women’s basketball double-header with the Lions. The women’s teams start out the evening with a 5 pm matchup followed by the men’s teams in action at approximately 7 pm.

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