Sailfish Close Out Eckerd College Sweep as Powell Delivers Big Second-Half

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Christ Joseph (Pictured) Takes on an Eckerd College Defender as the Fish were Victorious 74-59 on Friday Evening Over the Tritons. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Christ Joseph (Pictured) Takes on an Eckerd College Defender as the Fish were Victorious 74-59 on Friday Evening Over the Tritons. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Led by senior David Powell’s huge second-half effort of 25 points, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team earned their seventh win of the season on Friday evening as they welcomed in Eckerd College as a part of a men’s and women’s double-header. A close game until the final minutes, PBA held on for an impressive 74-59 victory against the Tritons.

Having now swept the season series versus the tradition-strong Tritons (6-4) after taking down EC on their home court back on November 24th, the Sailfish (7-6) have also reached the combined win total of the past two seasons after winning just three games in 2006-2007 and four contests in 2007-2008.

Much like their first meeting, the Sailfish and Tritons would battle for much of the game. Tonight started slow for both teams as the score was 6-5 in favor of the Tritons nearly eight minutes into the ballgame. The lead would be extended to 9-5 as Chris Gray drilled a three-pointer to give EC the advantage midway through the first-half of play.

Back-to-back buckets by junior Anthony Gugino knotted the game back at 9-9 before a pair of David Powell free-throws gave PBA their first-lead at 11-9 with 11:02 left in the opening half.

From that point the Sailfish would stretch their lead to as big as 12 points before the Tritons drew closer at 34-25 as big man Zaronn Cann drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key as time expired in the first-half. Cann led all scorers with 10 points in the first-half while also bringing down four boards.

Both teams shot extremely well from beyond the arc in half number one as PBA nailed 6-of-11 attempts from long range while EC boasted an even better percentage by nailing 4-of-6 three-point attempts.

The Fish began to find their rhythm midway through the second period as senior Manny Lopez connected from downtown at the 10:45 mark that gave PBA their biggest lead to that point at 51-40. A 6-0 run by the Tritons would follow and cut the lead to four as Kornilous Donnell registered a three-point bomb of his own with 9:31 remaining.

Controlling much of the tempo, PBA slowed down their approach and basically played keep away down the stretch as EC could never quite get close enough for a game-tying strike. Some solid PBA free-throw shooting down the stretch in fact sealed the victory as a number of Sailfish standouts went to the charity stripe and connected.

Powell finished the night 11-of-11 from the line on the way to his career-best performance of 30 points. His pair of free-throws with 1:44 remaining gave Powell his 29th and 30th points of the night as the senior Hollywood, Florida native was taken out of the game which resulted in a loud applause from the crowd.

Powell finished 7-of-16 from the field including 5-of-12 from beyond the arc while producing a perfect night at the line. Powell eclipsed his previous career-high of 28 points which also came against Eckerd on February 17th, 2008.

Junior Jonathan Lawrence, who hit the game-winning shot against EC the first time around, produced another solid night as he finished with 12 points on 5-of-10 field goals while also dishing out three assists. Reserve guard DeAndre Williams while not a big factor in the point department did produce another solid result for head coach Terry Primm as he dished out a team-high six assists while playing tight defense in the backcourt for 26 minutes.

The Tritons were paced by 17 points from Cann who registered a 7-of-12 shooting night. Mychal Nichols and Donnell each chipped in 11 points.

PBA held the small rebounding advantage at 29-25 while forcing EC into 21 turnovers compared to that of 17 by the Fish.

The Sailfish now turn their attention to their first of two NCAA Division I opponents this season as they will travel to Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, December 20th for a matchup against Atlantic Sun Conference foe the University of North Florida. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 pm. 

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