On Fan Appreciation Night, which included the introduction of the Lady Rebels dance team, the Tampa Bay Rebels gave the home crowd something to celebrate by pulling away late to grab a hard-earned 102-95 victory against the Palm Beach Knights. The victory ensures that the Rebels will finish with the best regular season record in the 2013 FBA season at 10-2, and will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Tampa Bay struggled out of the gate, as the Knights used strong defensive pressure to limit the Rebels on the offensive end. With Palm Beach making the most of their offensive opportunities, the home team found themselves trailing by double-digits in the first half. Tampa Bay made a change to their defense to start the second-half, which allowed the Rebels to work their way back into the game. Timely shooting from guard Robert Fuchs, who finished with 22 points, along with a key layup and three-pointer from Aubrey West helped to pull the Rebels ahead for good late in the final period.
Point guard Cory Lemons narrowly missed a triple-double and finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists and 7 steals. Chris Stephenson earned his own double-double by scoring 13 points and grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds. Veteran guard Jonathan Brown had another solid all-around performance as he scored 13 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists, while Stan Bufford contributed 12 points and 7 boards.
The Rebels will host the Knights again on Saturday, July 27th in the first round of the FBA playoffs. The game will start at 7pm and will be played at Freedom High School in New Tampa. Children 13 and under will receive free admission to the game, and those over 13 can purchase tickets for $10 at the gate or by visiting the R●Sole store located in University Square Mall. Please visit www.tampabayrebels.com for additional information.