Sailfish Comeback Effort Falls Short Against the University of Tampa

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

DeAndre Williams (Pictured) Gave the Sailfish a Spark on Saturday as He Tallied a Team High 17 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. DeAndre Williams (Pictured) Gave the Sailfish a Spark on Saturday as He Tallied a Team High 17 Points. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla.- Braving the big crowds and heavy traffic associated with Super Bowl XLIII, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team hit the road on Saturday for an afternoon showdown with the University of Tampa. Despite their best efforts including outscoring the Spartans in the second-half, the Sailfish were defeated 75-64.

Sweeping the season series from the Fish after previously taking them down at home back on December 3rd, the Spartans improved to 11-7 on the season while PBA has now dropped their past seven ball games and moved to 8-14 on the season.

Things started out in favor of the Sailfish as Chris Joseph scored on PBA’s first possession followed by a three-pointer from senior David Powell on the team’s next time down on the court to go up 5-0.

However, the Spartans would respond, especially from the outside as UT took outside shooting opportunities created by PBA’s zone defense. UT guard Rashad Callaway buried his first of seven three-pointers in the game at the 16:03 mark that put the Spartans in the lead at 11-9, a lead they would never relinquish.

The Spartans finished the first-half 8-of-14 from beyond the arc as a team including 4-of-7 from long-range from Callaway. Their lead would grow to as many as 20 points late in the first-half as Fred Woods put the Spartans firmly in control at 44-24 with just over two minutes remaining in the first-half. A late three from Phil Pejovic got the Fish a bit closer as they entered the lockeroom at halftime trailing 44-27.

While the Fish came out with increased defensive intensity and better offensive execution, the Tampa lead would be to great to overcome.

The Sailfish would continue to chip away at the Spartans big lead and in fact would get as close as six points after a pair of DeAndre Williams free-throws found the bottom of the net with just over five minutes to play in regulation, putting the score at 61-55. 

With the visiting Sailfish drawing close, the Spartans would once again go back to their deadly outside shooting as Callaway drained back-to-back triples in the closing minutes to push the UT lead back out to double-digits. UT connected on a solid 12-of-14 shots from the free-throw line for the game and iced the game late.

The Sailfish were led by Williams who poured in a team-high 17 points including 10 points in the second-half. The junior Seminole, Florida native finished just 4-of-11 from the field but made nine trips to the charity stripe where he connected on all nine attempts. He also had five steals to his credit.

Following Williams in the scoring column were three other PBA players reaching double figures. Senior David Powell found a nice rhythm from long-range as he connected on 3-of-6 attempts to the tune of 13 points. Juniors Jonathan Lawrence and Chris Joseph added in 11 and 10 points respectively. 

Callaway led all scorers as he finished with 26 points on 8-of-17 from the floor including his spectacular 7-of-13 shooting effort from beyond the arc. Fellow starting guards Jonathan Ball and Anthony Labruno produced 13 and 10 points respectively.

For the game, UT finished 26-of-47 from the field overall for a very solid 55% shooting mark. The Sailfish were held to a 41% (23-56) shooting performance for the afternoon.

The Sailfish will look to shake off their recent losing streak in their next contest as they are scheduled to square off against Nova Southeastern University next Saturday, February 7th at 4 p.m. in Davie, Florida.

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