Tech Escapes with 69-66 Win Over PBA

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Basketball) – With 49 seconds left in the ball game, a Ryan Ballard free throw gave Florida Tech a
three-point lead and the Sailfish of Palm Beach Atlantic did everything they could to force a tie, but the Panthers escaped with a 69-66 home win over PBA
to improve to 8-0 on the season. This is Tech’s best start since going 7-1 in the team’s first eight games of the 1997-98 season.   Tech had a
12-point halftime edge, which ballooned to 16 at the 17:53 mark in the second stanza on a long ball by E.J. Murray. The Sailfish, however,
inched their way back to within seven of the Panthers when a pair of freebies by Manny Lopez capped off an 11-2 run four and a half minutes later.  
At 9:19, Fitzroy Anthony sliced Tech’s lead to a mere point, making it 51-50 from the charity stripe. Florida Tech got back up by as many as six on three
occasions, but the Sailfish would not go away. A pair of free throws by David Powell made it a two point game with 52 seconds to go, but it was the free
throw by Ballard on the other end that sealed the three-point victory.   “We played well defensively the same that we have all year, which tonight
helped us win the game,” said head coach Billy Mims. “Offensively, I was disappointed in our execution. PBA’s intensity really pushed us
out of our offensive rhythm and they certainly outworked us at times tonight.”   PBA took an early 3-0 advantage and the lead changed hands a total of
15 times in the opening 20 minutes with two ties. After the Sailfish went up 26-24 with 3:51 on the clock, the Panthers closed the half on an impressive
14-0 run, capped off by a buzzer-beating trey by sophomore Donovan Woodson to send he crowd to its feet as the teams headed to the locker
room.   Justin Sedlak finished the game with his fourth double-double of the season, posting 17 points and 13 boards, while Murray also added 17 and
Arthur Richardson had 10.   Powell led he game with 20 points for PBA off the bench, while Lopez contributed 17. The Sailfish were held to just 31.7
percent shooting in the loss, but did make over 90 percent of their free throws.   “Our free throw shooting was not good enough for a tight game, so
we consider ourselves lucky to have won,” said Mims. “We started lethargic, but I thought Demetrius Harvey, Markus Alan
, Donovan Woodson and Ryan Ballard injected a lot of energy for us off the bench. We really gutted this one out and did what we needed to do
to win.”

The Panthers take a two-week break for exams before returning to the hardwood Dec. 18. Tech hosts St. Thomas at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of a
doubleheader with the Florida Tech women, who host Indianapolis in the nightcap.


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