Men's Basketball Closes Out Regular Season With Two-Point Loss to Saint Leo University

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Jonathan Lawrence (Pictured) Took Home Game High Honors for the Sailfish with 14 Points Against Saint Leo University in a Tough 64-62 Loss. Jonathan Lawrence (Pictured) Took Home Game High Honors for the Sailfish with 14 Points Against Saint Leo University in a Tough 64-62 Loss.

Box Score

SAINT LEO, Fla.- In somewhat heartbreaking fashion, the final regular season game of the 2008-2009 campaign closed out what has been a trying past few months for the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s basketball team. After a torrid start to begin the season, the Sailfish have fallen on hard times which culminated in a tough 64-62 defeat on the road at Saint Leo University on Saturday afternoon.

Trailing by four points with 16 seconds remaining, the Sailfish (9-18) were forced to foul and after sending Brandon Powell to the free-throw line the Fish came away with a rebound as the SLU player missed the front-end of the 1-and-1 foul shot.

PBA junior guard DeAndre Williams raced down the court and fired up a three-pointer from the top-of-the-key that banked in and left the Fish trailing by just one with eight seconds remaining. After a team timeout for SLU and a quick foul by the Sailfish sent Kyle Rowland to the charity stripe for two shots. Rowland missed the first and drained the second-shot leaving PBA with the ball and five seconds left on the clock.

Unfortunately for the Sailfish, a turnover on the inbounds pass never found the hands of senior guard David Powell who was unable to handle the pass as it skipped off his finger tips into the hands of the awaiting Lions defender which allowed time to expire for a 64-62 SLU victory.

A close game throughout, SLU held a slim 32-30 halftime lead while followed in the second-half by a similar 32 points output for each squad.

As they have done much of the season, the Sailfish used a balanced scoring effort placing four players in double-figures. They were led by 14 points from junior guard Jonathan Lawrence who was 6-of-10 from the field while also adding in four rebounds.

Following Lawrence in the scoring column was fellow junior Joe Kelly who earned the start and poured in 13 points on 5-of-9 from the field. Williams and senior Manny Lopez followed with 12 and 10 points respectively while both players tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.

Saint Leo (15-15) was paced by big-man Jordan Prais who led all scorers with 18 points while connecting on 6-of-12 field-goals and 6-of-7 free-throws. Matthew Salay and Quetin Cullop also reached double-figures with 15 and 10 points each.

Neither team shot particularly well from beyond the arc as PBA was successful on only 4-of-22 (18%) long-range attempts and Saint Leo made 7-of-27 (26%). PBA won the rebounding and turnover battles with comparisons of 42-39 and 13-14 respectively.

The Sailfish will now turn their sights to the upcoming National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Regional as they will travel to North Greenville University to take part in the regional championship beginning March 9th. More information will be posted once the final tournament schedule is finalized.

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