Moccasins Blister the Nets as Sailfish Disappointed in Road Effort

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

LAKELAND, Fla.- Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball head coach Terry Primm knew how good of a squad his Sailfish would be going up against on Saturday evening in Florida Southern College. What he and many others wouldn’t be able to predict is the unbelievable shooting effort the Moccasins would display as they road a 65%  overall shooting percentage to a 115-85 blowout over the visiting Sailfish.

Ranked as high as number three in the nation earlier this season, the Mocs (15-4) swept the season series against PBA (8-11) after taking down the Fish back in December. Tonight’s big home victory for FSC was the ninth victory in a row for the veteran ball club.

After the first few minutes of the ballgame it was apparent that tonight would not be a great night for the young Sailfish as FSC jumped ahead quickly out the gate. The strong first-half play of guards Brandon Jenkins and Rob Eldridge led the Mocs as both players seemed to hit nearly every shot they took in the opening half.

A three-pointer from Jenkins with 12:13 remaining gave FSC a 25-11 lead and they never looked back. The FSC lead would grow to as many as 31 points when the home-standing Mocs finished out the half with a free-throw from Eldridge to push the lead to 61-30.

Jenkins poured in 19 points in the first-half while Eldridge added in 15 points.

The second-half would once again feature the run-and-gun style of the Moccasins and the Sailfish forced to try and keep up. Despite their best efforts including some solid performances from a number of PBA reserves, the Sailfish were never able to get within striking distance of the high-powered Mocs.

The Mocs finished the night 36-of-56 from the field for a cool 63.4% although some of the reserve FSC players missed some shots late or that percentage may have been even higher.

PBA did a nice job on the offensive glass as they took on a bigger and stronger FSC front-line. The Fish grabbed 17 offensive rebounds in comparison to just 14 defensive rebounds which in turn was more evidence of the blistering shooting effort of Florida Southern.

As mentioned, a number of PBA reserves came off the bench in the second-half and performed well including a trio of freshman making their marks with career-highs. Phil Pejovic, Reagan Sims, and Joe Datsko all played quality minutes for PBA down the stretch.

Pejovic produced 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field while adding in three rebounds and one steal. Sims gave the Sailfish a lift as well with 11 points including hitting his first four shots he took. The Berean Christian product ended the night 5-of-8 in field-goal attempts while playing 16 minutes. Datsko, who has played an increased role of late, finished with seven points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Starting guard Jonathan Lawrence and reserve forward Manny Lopez each reached double-figures as well in points with 14 and 13 points respectively. Leading scorer David Powell was limited to just three points on 1-of-8 from the field.

FSC was paced by Jenkins who finished the night with 23 points while Eldridge followed with 17 points. Preston Frederick added in 13 points off the bench while Zach Smith produced 10 points of his own.

Big-man Rashaad Singleton, a 7’0” senior transfer from the University of Georgia, came away with nine points, eight rebounds, and six blocks off the bench. Fourteen Moccasins players registered at least two points in the game.

PBA is in the midst of a tough stretch as they have dropped four in a row. There next contest will be on Wednesday, January 21st as they will travel to another tough opponent in Rollins College with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. PBA took down the Tars in overtime at the Rubin Arena back on December 3rd by a 82-78 final score.

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