Fantastic Finish at Flagler; Lady Fish Earn Fourth Straight Victory
January 10, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.- Utilizing a true team effort, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team earned their fourth straight victory of the season on Saturday evening as they battled Flagler College on the road for 40 minutes. Leading most of the way, the Fish needed a strong showing near the end to keep the Saints from a comeback bid.
Freshman Selethia Jackson, a local product from nearby Riveria Beach, poured in 16 points to lead the Fish on the evening against a pesky Saints ball club who lost their 14th decision in a row as they dropped to 2-14 on the season.
The Saints jumped out ahead early on with the first six points of the game when FC guard Christy Forsyth drilled a three-pointer at the 16:48 mark a few minutes into the game. The Fish would quickly respond however with their own 7-0 run including a three-point bomb from reserve guard Jordan Kong to give PBA a lead a few minutes later.
Trading baskets over the next few minutes, the Sailfish (5-11) would go ahead for good on a pair of Kristine Webb free-throws with just over nine minutes remaining in the first-half. The PBA lead would grow to as many as eight points in the first-half as the two teams entered half-time with the Blue and White leading 33-25.
Webb helped lead the charge on both ends of the floor in the first-half as she netted four points while pulling down an astonishing 11 rebounds and also chipping in three assists. Senior Chanell Byrd paced the offensive game for the Fish with nine first-half points.
The second-half of play featured a number of momentum changes as both teams went on different streaks to keep the game close. PBA would begin the second period on top and pushed their advantage to as big as 12 points when a jumper from Jackson found the bottom of the net to give PBA a 43-31 lead with exactly 11 minutes remaining.
From there it would be the long-range stroke of Flagler reserve guard Jen Mitchell that would propel the Saints back into serious contention as she connected on 4-of-6 attempts from beyond the arc to push her team’s deficit back to single digits.
The Saints would close the Sailfish lead to as close as three-points with 41 seconds remaining when a pair of Chanti Beckett free-throws closed the gap to 56-53. Now forced to foul, the Saints sent PBA senior Melissa Perez to the line for a pair of free-throws that she subsequently hit to put her team back into a more comfortable five point cushion.
After a few failed last second attempts from the Saints fell short as well as a big steal from PBA’s Byrd, the Sailfish came away with a much-deserved 60-53 victory.
Mitchell led all scorers on the night with 23 points off the Flagler bench as she finished 6-of-9 from the field including an impressive 5-of-7 from downtown.
Beyond Jackson’s impressive night who finished 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line to go along with seven rebounds, the Sailfish also saw a number of other key contributors. Webb finished with a career-high 16 rebounds while also adding nine points and five assists while playing all 40 minutes.
Byrd came through with 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds while freshman Jordan Kong added in 11 points off the Sailfish bench and played a career-high 27 minutes. Forced into more action down the stretch due to freshman Lynsey Poole fouling out with 10 minutes remaining, Kong hit 3-of-7 triples while adding in four boards.
PBA will be back in action on Monday, January 12th as they will travel to nearby Davie, Florida for a 7 pm matchup with Nova Southeastern University.