BOCA RATON, Fla.- Lynn University's men's basketball team emerged victorious in the Sunshine State Conference season opener on Thursday night in the de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center. The Fighting Knights defeated Rollins (4-4,0-1),80-64, to improve to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in SSC play. Aaron Harrison scored a team-high 24 points, 18 of which he recorded in the second half.
Lynn took an early 5-0 lead when Ben Berry made a layup and a three-point shot to put the Blue & White on the board first. A three-pointer by Kaleb Clyburn at 13:52 would give Lynn its largest lead of the half, 16-4. Rollins slowly chipped away and took the lead at 9:03. The two teams would exchange leads throughout the final nine minutes but the Blue & White capitalized on 16 Tars turnovers to lead 43-32 at halftime.
Berry had a team-high 13 points in the opening frame. Rollins was led by Alex Blessig who had 18 points and was the only Tar in double figures. The Fighting Knights shot 50 percent from the field and connected on all four of their free throws. RC shot 47.8 percent and made just 4-of-10 shots from behind the arc.
Rollins opened the second half on a 10-3 run that was ended by a trey by Aaron Harrison, to put Lynn back ahead 49-42 at 16:04. Harrison's second three-pointer at 13:20 put the Blue & White ahead by eleven, 57-46. The Fighting Knights led by eight with six minutes remaining in regulation and would continue to add to their lead with a layup by David Johnson to lead 68-58 with four minutes to play. The Blue & White held on for a 16-point victory to defeat the Tars at home for the second consecutive year.
Despite shooting 37.5 percent in the second half, the Blue & White put forth a valid effort holding Rollins to 28.6 shooting from three-point range. Lynn's defense didn't allow the Tars' Alex Blessig to score a single point in the second half until the final five minutes, after he scored 18 points in the opening frame.
Harrison notched his first double-double of the season with 24 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Russell Wilson chipped in eight points and seven steals while Ben Berry put forth his second consecutive game in double figures with 14 points. Pavle Raickovic added 10 points and five rebounds and Clyburn and David Johnson each added eight points.
Lynn (5-0) returns to action on Tuesday, December 9, in the de Hoernle Sports & Cultural Center when they host Florida Memorial in non-conference action. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 pm. Fans can follow the men's basketball team all season long at LynnFightingKnights.com. Don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook and follow @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.