BOCA RATON, Fla.- Despite Lynn University's Russell Wilson breaking the programs single game assists record, the Fighting Knights (6-1) dropped their first game of the season to Midwestern State (8-3), 90-83, in double overtime on Monday night. Six of Wilson's record 14 assists game in the second half of play.
Lynn took the initial lead of the game, and lead by eight at the 7:02 mark, 20-12. The Mustangs slowly chipped away and a pair of free throws by Bretson McNeal would put MSU a head 23-22 at 3:45. A put-back dunk by Cory Thomas would quickly put the Blue & White back on top. The two teams would exchange baskets before heading into the break tied 27-27.
David Johnson led all scorers with eight points, helping Lynn to shoot 34.5 percent from the field. The Fighting Knights edged MSU 20-15 in rebounds and held the Mustangs to 0-for-7 from three-point range. Midwestern State connected on 11-of-16 shots from the free-throw line and shot 36.4 percent from the field, its leading scorer was Tavarion Nix with six points.
MSU pulled out to a five-point lead to begin the second half but Lynn would slowly chip away to take the lead at 13:52 with a three-pointer from Fred Landers. The Fighting Knights went on a 11-2 run that was capped off by a trey from Ben Berry to put Lynn ahead by 11, its largest lead of the game. Although the Mustangs knotted the score by 63-all by the end of regulation, Lynn's defense was key to forcing overtime.
Clyburn erupted in the second half, connecting on 2-of-3 three-pointers to lead Lynn in scoring with eight points. Johnson and Landers each had seven points while Thomas marked four blocks, all in the second half.
With 2:50 remaining in the first overtime period, back-to-back treys from Landers and Clyburn would erase Lynn's four-point deficit and put the Blue & White ahead 71-69. However Khapri Alston answered back for the Mustangs with eight seconds left to force double overtime.
The final five minutes was all Mustangs. MSU led by as many eight points with 1:49 remaining. Consecutive three-pointers by Harrison would put Lynn within two with 1:07 to play. Lynn kept the game within two possessions but five shots from the charity line in the final 30 seconds would give Midwestern State a seven point victory handing the Blue & White its first loss of the year.
McNeal scored a game-high 27 points helping the Mustangs to shoot 43.3 percent overall. Lynn had both Johnson and Clyburn lead the team with 16 points while Landers and Harrison added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Wilson's 14 assists marks the first time a Fighting Knights has scored double-digit assists since the 2005-06 season. The old assists in a game record was held by Andrew Smith. Smith set the record 12 assists against Saint Leo on January 1, 2006.
Lynn returns to action on Friday, December 19 at 7:30 pm. The Blue & White face off against Winston Salem State in the Embassy Suites Boca Raton Classic.
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