Sailfish Collect Signature Victory in Overtime Over Rollins College

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

David Powell (Pictured) Delivered for the Fish Again as He Totalted 24 Points Including 9 Points in Overtime to Seal the Win. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. David Powell (Pictured) Delivered for the Fish Again as He Totalted 24 Points Including 9 Points in Overtime to Seal the Win. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The culture of the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team is obviously changing. Adding to their already impressive list of wins early this season, the Sailfish moved to 5-2 against Sunshine State Conference opponents on Wednesday night as they defeated the likes of Rollins College by a final score of 82-78 in overtime.

With only one win against Rollins College in the program’s history before tonight, it had been just over 10 years since the Fish last defeated the Tars which came in 1998 as they held a 1-12 program mark coming into play tonight. The Sailfish along with a rockin’ Rubin Arena crowd in the The Fish Tank, made sure 2008 was a new result.

In one of the most exciting games ever played in the Rubin Arena, the Sailfish nearly accomplished their monumental victory in regulation until Rollins senior guard Zach Pancratz drilled a three-pointer as time expired to send the game into the extra period.

In overtime it would be the Fish who would respond including a number of clutch shots and free-throws from senior shooting guard David Powell. Powell finished the night with a team-high 24 points while hitting 5-of-10 shots from beyond the arc and 7-of-9 at the charity stripe.

The first-half featured a number of key runs by both squads with the lead either way only growing to as big as six points. Both squads used a very balanced scoring attack in the first-half as the leading scorer for both teams were in single digits with nine points from Nikoa Baran of Rollins and seven points from Powell. PBA led the contest 35-32 at the break.

Coming down the stretch of the second-half, the score would be tied for the 14th time of the half at the 3:37 mark to play as an inside layup from Rollins center Craig Reichel knotted the score at 59-59. The Tars would respond their next time down the floor and momentarily take control of the contest as Pancratz delivered with a tip-in basket and a foul called on the Fish. Pancratz connected on the free-throw which placed the visiting Tars in the lead at 62-59 with only 2:41 left to play.

Next time down the floor it would be Powell again as he drilled another long ball that tied the game again, this time at 62-62. After a missed offensive opportunity by Rollins, Ross put the Fish ahead with a jumper only to see the game tied once more after Kevin Hogan of Rollins made a pair of free-throws. Hogan missed his opportunity to give his team the lead as he was unable to connect on the third free-throw attempt.

That set things up again for Powell, who despite being obviously targeted by the Tars defense, he stepped up and hit a three-pointer that put the Fish ahead 67-64 with just 15 seconds remaining. After a missed three from Reichel bounced back into the hands of Pancratz, he drilled the three-pointer as the Rubin Arena horn sounded that sent the game into the overtime period.

Jeremy Sharpe, the Tars leading scorer entering tonight’s play, briefly put the Tars up in the overtime period with a three-pointer with 1:17 to play. The next PBA possession it would be Powell once again who would lift the team on his back and bury his fifth and final trey of the contest that put PBA ahead 75-73 and give them a lead they would never relinquish.

Forced to foul from that point, Powell was sent to the line and buried six straight free-throws while junior guard Jay Jackson registered another free-throw that iced the game.

The Sailfish finished with just three double-figures scorers highlighted by Powell’s 24 points. Forwards Hunter Ross and Manny Lopez were the other two that reached the mark as Ross added in 15 points including eight points from the free-throw line while Lopez chipped in 11 points.

Junior guard Chris Joseph just missed a double-double as he tallied nine points and seven assists from the point guard spot.

With just one turnover in the first-half, the Sailfish ended the night with 10 miscues while forcing the Tars into 15 turnovers.

RC was led by Pancratz with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting while Hogan added in 15 points and Sharped tallied a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Fish hope to continue their momentum in their next outing which will be against another tough Sunshine State Conference opponent in the University of Tampa. The Spartans and Sailfish will square off in a women’s and men’s double-header on Saturday, December 6th with the women’s game starting at 2 pm and the men suiting up around 4 pm.

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