Saint Leo, Fla.- Lynn University's men's basketball advanced to 5-0 in the Sunshine State Conference with a 62-55 win over Saint Leo in the CBS Sports Network Division II Game of the Week in front of a sell-out Lions crowd. The Fighting Knights are 12-2 overall and are receiving votes in the NABC Coaches Poll while being ranked 20th in the D2 Media Poll by D2SIDA. Ben Berry had a career-high 21 points and seven rebounds to lead the Blue & White.
Both teams exchanged baskets through the opening minutes of the game. Saint Leo pulled ahead by seven, 20-13, with 9:25 remaining in the first half. Lynn rallied and put together a 15-3 run to close to out the opening 20 minutes to lead 35-29 at the break. Berry shot six-for-eight from the field in the half with 16 points making all four three-point shots he attempted.
Lynn shot 48.3 percent from the field and held SLU to 38.5 percent. The Lions edged the Blue & White 20-13 in rebounds and made nine-of-nine shots from the charity stripe. Ron Foxx led the Lions with a team-best 14 points and six rebounds in the half.
The Fighting Knights scored first after the break on a slam dunk by Aaron Harrison giving Lynn its biggest lead of the game, 29-37. The Lions brought it within two at 12:39 but a trey by Berry at 11:44 would give Lynn a 44-39 cushion. SLU went on a 6-0 run to take its first lead of the half at 9:35 when Edmunds Dukulis made a layup to lead 45-44.
Lynn pulled ahead by four with 4:07 to go but back-to-back three-pointers by SLU saw the Lions take a two-point lead, 55-53. Prior to the pair of treys Saint Leo had shot 0-for-9 from downtown. Fred Landers and Pavle Raickovic both made a pair of free throws that would see Lynn ahead by two, 57-55. Harrison and Landers would make trips to the charity stripe in the final minute giving Lynn the six point advantage with 22 seconds to go. Raickovic put the game out of reach with Lynn's 14th shot from the line with 13 seconds left in regulation, ending the game in the Fighting Knights favor.
The Blue & White shot 38.9 percent from the field in the second half and 80 percent from the charity stripe. Lynn held SLU to 15.4 percent from downtown and its defense made key stops resulting in 23 Lions turnovers overall. Lynn's bench had 18 points and the Fighting Knights blocked six shots as they continue to lead the nation in blocks per game.
Berry and Harrison combined for 39 of the Blue & White's points. Harrison had four dunks in the game putting on a show for the Lion's faithful. Berry shot 5-for-7 from behind the arc while Landers made all six of his free throws in key moments of the game.
Lynn will return home to face nationally-ranked SSC rival Barry on Wednesday, January 21, for a 7:30 pm tip-off. To learn more about Lynn University's basketball team, log on to LynnFighitngKnights.com. Don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook and follow @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.