Sailfish Fall on the Road at Florida Tech in Men's Basketball
December 1, 2008
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
MELBOURNE, Fla.- Putting their recent three game winning streak on the line, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team hit the road on Monday evening as they took on yet another Sunshine State Conference opponent in Florida Tech. In a back and forth battle throughout, the Panthers overtook the Fish down the stretch as they escaped with an 82-74 victory.
Drastically out sizing the Sailfish in the interior, the Panthers were led by another strong showing from freshman sensation Derek Hellemann. A 6’5” freshman forward out of Lebanon, Ohio, Hellemann led all players with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field and a stellar 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. Three other Panther players reached double-figures including another freshman standout in shooting guard Simon Cummings who tallied 17 points while connecting on 4-of-9 shots from beyond the arc.
The Sailfish were once again led by the sharp-shooting efforts of senior David Powell. A Hollywood, Florida native with one of the deadliest long-range shots in the region, Powell led the Fish with 20 points while hitting 7-of-13 shooting chances including an impressive 6-of-11 from downtown.
Right beyond Powell’s output was fellow senior Manny Lopez who tallied 17 points while sophomore forward Hunter Ross and Jonathan Lawrence chipped in 14 and 12 points respectively.
Both teams had their chances in the ballgame that featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes while FIT went into halftime with a 40-35 lead. Perhaps the most glaring statistics for the Panthers came from their points in the paint as they tallied 36 points compared to that of the Sailfish who earned 24 points in the paint.
FIT also took advantage on the offensive glass as they collected 14 offensive boards on their way to 16 second chance points including 11 in the second-half.
With the Panthers nursing a 68-67 lead at the 3:04 mark in the second-half after a pair of Manny Lopez free-throws, the game would drastically change.
A three-pointer the next time down the floor from Cummings put the home-standing Panthers ahead by four points at 71-67. After a missed layup by the Fish and under two minutes remaining, senior guard Ryan Ballard retreated down court only to be fouled on his way to the basket. Already set with two upcoming free-throws, Ballard would gain two more as the Fish were whistled for a technical foul on the bench.
Ballard connected on 3-of-4 attempts from the charity stripe and despite the Sailfish best efforts put the game away down the stretch.
Now 4-4 on the season, PBA will turn their attention to Wednesday, December 3rd as they will host Rollins College at 7 pm. The PBA women will take on Florida Memorial at 5 pm in the Rubin Arena.