Sailfish Battle University of South Dakota for 40 Minutes
January 15, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Taking on their second NCAA Division I opponent of the season on Thursday night against the likes of the University of South Dakota, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team fought hard but came up short in front of a big Rubin Arena crowd by a final score of 76-66.
Entering play tonight the USD Coyotes (15-5) were riding an 11-game winning streak in this their inaugural season at the NCAA Division I level. The Coyotes featured a number of transfers from other Division I institutions and showed why they are able to play at such a high level.
A tale of two halves considering free-throws shot by each team as PBA entered halftime 9-of-9 from the charity stripe while USD shot just two attempts from the line. The second-half however would feature increased physical play by both squads as the Fish shot 21 free-throws while USD came away with 24 attempts.
USD never trailed in the contest as they jumped out to a quick 12-4 lead on a Tyler Cain two-hand slam-dunk at just under the 15:00 minute mark of the first-half. A 6’8” power forward, Cain was a force down low as he was 4-of-4 from the field in the first-half while also adding in five boards.
Both teams would trade baskets over the next few minutes until the Coyotes went on another run to push their lead to a first-half high of 16 points when freshman Louie Krogman drained a three-pointer with 3:52 remaining. The Fish cut the lead to 35-26 at the half as they closed out the final three minutes on a 8-1 run.
The second-half as mentioned was at a much slower pace due to the many fouls called on both teams. Both squads were in the double-bonus with over 10 minutes to play in the game.
Picking up where they left off to close out the half, the Sailfish came out firing and closed the lead to as close as three-points when a tip-in basket from sophomore Hunter Ross found the bottom of the net at the 14:12 mark to close the USD lead to 44-41.
From there the Coyotes would make some adjustments and take over for the next eight minutes as they muscled their way to a 21-3 run to push their advantage to 21 points with just over six minutes remaining in the contest.
The Fish would not give up down the stretch and forced a number of turnovers and missed free-throws for the Coyotes and closed the final tally to only ten points at 76-66. Certainly not one of their better shooting nights, the Sailfish were held in check by USD with a final shooting percentage of 27% (19-73) and 18% (4-22) from beyond the arc. South Dakota finished the ball game 25-of-52 as a team shooting the basketball for a cool 48%.
PBA senior David Powell didn’t have his signature long-stroke working on the night but still found ways to lead the Sailfish. Powell finished with game-high scoring honors of 19 points on 4-of-15 from the field and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. Juniors Jonathan Lawrence and Chris Joseph also reached double-digits in points for the Fish with 14 and 12 respectively.
The Coyotes were paced by Krogman who came away with 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from downtown. Cain added in a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds while missing just one shot at 6-of-7 from the field. Forward Dylan Grimsley added in 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in a solid all-around performance. Reserve guard Roman Gentry rounded out the USD double-figure scoring with 12 points off the Coyotes bench.
Things don’t get much easier for PBA in their next outing as they will travel to play Florida Southern College on Saturday, January 17th. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.
Be sure to follow all the action for PBA’s remaining home schedule by visiting the Rubin Arena and catching the Fish live. If you are unable to make it out to the arena, listen to PBA men’s and women’s basketball home games online via the new Sailfish Radio Network. Both live and archived broadcasts are offered.
GAME NOTES: Special thanks to the PBA Gregory School of Pharmacy for their participation in the “Chains Game” Halftime Challenge as PBA Pharmacy alumni attended the men’s basketball game and even took part in some friendly competition at halftime with alumni and current students from both Walgreens and CVS coming together at halftime. A special thank you to Michelle Ly from the School of Pharmacy who helped organize the event… A special thank you as well goes out to the high school teams of Wellington Christian and the Trinity Christian Academy who played their varsity boys basketball game before tonight’s collegiate action.