Poole's Last Second Shot Sends Sailfish to NCCAA Championship Game on Saturday Night
March 13, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
WINONA LAKE, Ind.- To say the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team has had its doubters over the past few seasons is not only an understatement but almost laughable. People aren’t laughing now however as the Lady Fish stamped their ticket to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship game as they defeated #1-seeded Emmanuel College on Friday night in the tournament semi-finals on a last second shot by freshman Lynsey Poole.
With the Fish trailing 47-46 with 10.2 seconds left on the clock, the Lady Lions were whistled for a traveling violation which gave the Fish one last chance. After a timeout was called by head coach Robin Potera-Haskins and the full length of the floor left to go, the Sailfish put the ball in the hands of their freshman point guard, Lynsey Poole.
Poole drove the length of the floor, drove around a screen, and laid in a shot that rolled around on the rim and into the bottom of the net with just three seconds remaining. The Lions, who have now been defeated in the final seconds by the Sailfish twice after facing a similar fate at the NCCAA South Region Championship, were not left with enough time to get off a good shot as the horn sounded sending the PBA fans on hand into pandemonium.
Poole was mobbed by her teammates and parents and fans alike rushed the floor to bring praise to the efforts of PBA’s outstanding effort to reach the NCCAA Championship Final which will take place on Saturday at 5 pm.
Just like their previous meeting with the Lions, the Sailfish trailed for much of the game. Emmanuel led for nearly the entire first-half while building a lead of as many as eight points (22-14) when Jasmine Fleming nailed a three-pointer in the first-half to go up eight points with 9:42 remaining.
The Fish clawed their way back to striking distance and even took the momentum into the lockeroom when senior Melissa Perez connected on a jumper right before the horn sounded for halftime. EC led 31-28 at the break.
The second-half saw the Sailfish continue their up-swing as they began the half with a 7-0 run that included a three-pointer from Perez, and two-point field-goals from Selethia Jackson and Hayley Fields.
From there things would go back and forth as both squads failed to get in an offensive rhythm. PBA fell behind 36-35 when A’Ineisha Johnson found teammate Tameka Pease for a two point basket with 8:20 to play. A jumper at the elbow from Liz Fugate would follow for the Fish as Fugate’s two-pointer tied the contest at 37-37.
After a few free-throws were traded between the two teams, the Lions utilized back-to-back three-pointers from guard Brittany Bruno and a layup from Pease that pushed the advantage to four points at 47-43 with 4:31 to play in regulation.
Struggling to find space against the smothering defense of Emmanuel, freshman guard Hayley Fields finally found room and drilled a long three with 58 seconds left to bring the game score to 47-46 in favor of the Lions.
From there it would be the heroics of Poole as the Fish escaped with the hard-fought victory, their 13th of the season.
Poole led PBA on the night despite battling through serious leg pain as she netted 12 points off the bench while hitting 5-of-8 shots from the field. Playing 32 minutes total, Poole had three steals and two assists to go along with her point production. Fields also registered 12 points as she was 4-of-6 from the field including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.
Junior center Kristine Webb had a big night on the boards as she pulled down game-high honors with 12 rebounds while also adding in five points. Webb did a good job of controlling the paint as well as she collected five blocks.
Selethia Jackson chipped in eight points and four rebounds while Perez added in seven points.
Pease led the scoring efforts for the Lions with 13 points while also pulling down 10 rebounds. Ashley Jackson scored 12 points for the Lady Lions with all 12 coming in the first-half. Jackson also pulled down 11 rebounds.
PBA limited Emmanuel to just a 17% (5-29) shooting mark in the second-half and a 27% (16-60) for the game. The Fish improved on their first-round shooting efforts against Trinity International as they were 20-of-47 for 43%.
Palm Beach Atlantic will take on #2-seeded Mount Vernon Nazarene University for the NCCAA Championship on Saturday at approximately 5 pm. The game will be broadcasted live on the Sailfish Radio Network with pre-game coverage slated for 4:45 pm.