Published On: Wed, Jan 25th, 2023

PBA Men’s Basketball Loses at the Buzzer at Eckerd

The Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball team looked to complete the season sweep against Eckerd College on Saturday.

After trailing most of the game, it seemed like PBA was set to steal its first road win of the season. With the ‘Fish trailing by two, Bryce Laskey knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer to give PBA a 70-69 lead with 13 seconds to go. PBA got an initial stop as Eckerd missed a mid-range jumper, by the Tritons corralled the offensive rebound and their second-chance shot was good as time expired. Eckerd escaped with a 71-70 win.

Laskey led PBA with 19 points off the bench. He went 8-for-14 with three 3-pointers, four rebounds, and six steals. Will Lee and Jakob Hester added 16 points each. Hester tied Jalen Cooper for a team-high seven rebounds. Cooper and Ryan Claflin finished with six points each.

The Sailfish offense was slow out of the gate allowing Eckerd to jump ahead of the ‘Fish, 16-9 with 12 minutes to play in the first half. A 3-pointer from Laskey, a bucket from Hester, and two free throws from Cooper tied the game at 16 at the nine-minute mark.

As the half winded down, Eckerd held a slight lead over PBA. With the Tritons ahead 32-27 with three minutes to go, Hester went to work with a pair of layups to make it a one-point game. At halftime, the Tritons led 34-33.

The difference in the first half was due to Eckerd doing a better job of getting to the line. EC shot twice as many free throws as the Sailfish and knocked down one more 3-pointer than the ‘Fish in the first half.

Eckerd held onto its lead for most of the second half until a mid-range jumper from Laskey put the Sailfish ahead 60-59 with 6:19 to play. PBA led by as many as three points after Cooper knocked down four free throws down the stretch.

A turnover out of a timeout cost the Sailfish, leading to a pair of Triton free throws that put the hosts ahead, 67-66 with 1:47 remaining. Hester got a chance to match free throws at the other end, but he missed the second attempt, keeping the game tied at 67.

Eckerd scored on a layup after a timeout to lead 69-67 with 37 seconds to go. After a PBA timeout, Laskey missed a floater attempt, but an offensive rebound by Cooper led to a kick out to Laskey who knocked down the corner three and put PBA ahead 70-69.

Unfortunately for the ‘Fish, they couldn’t complete the defensive possession, allowing the offensive rebound that led to the buzzer-beater and 71-70 win for the Tritons.

PBA outshot Eckerd from the field and from 3-point range in the game. The Sailfish also ended the game with more free throws than the hosts, but Eckerd finished with one more made field goal than PBA which made the difference in the game.

The Sailfish return home on Wednesday and look to get back on track against Florida Southern on Jan. 25. The game in Rubin Arena takes place at 7:30 p.m. 

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