BOCA RATON, Fla- Lynn University's men's basketball team fell to Tampa, 66-61, at home on Wednesday night. Fred Landers had a team-high 15 points to pace the No. 19 Fighting Knights' offensive. The Blue & White moves to 14-5 overall and 7-3 in Sunshine State Conference play.
Tampa jumped out to an early five-point lead, 10-5, at the 14:11 mark. A 10-4 by the Spartans had Lynn down by seven, 16-9, at 12:35 but Lynn battled back on an 8-2 run to trail by one, 18-17, after a jumper by Ben Berry at the nine minute mark.
A jumper by Landers at 5:07 tied the game 21-all and the Blue & White took its first lead since the opening minutes, 24-21, when Landers stole the ball from UT's Jordan Davis and Berry drained a three-pointer sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
Lynn went on a 9-0 run to lead 30-21 with 3:49 to play after a pair of free throws from both Aaron Harrison and Landers. The Fighting Knights held on to lead by five, 34-29, at halftime.
Lynn shot 44 percent in the opening frame as Harrison, Landers and Russell Wilson all had eight points. The Blue & White held the Spartans to 40 percent from the field and 0-for-5 from three-point range. Tampa held a 19-13 advantage in rebounds but Lynn scored 17 points in the paint and forced 10 UT turnovers.
The Spartans opened the second frame on a 9-5 run to take the lead, 40-39, after a trey by Austin Rettig at 14:31. The Fighting Knights found themselves in a nine-point deficit twice but dug their way out both times.
Berry hit a tree-pointer with 1:06 left in regulation to make it a five-point game but a pair of free throws by Tampa's Davis would once again make it a seven-point game. With 28 seconds left Fred Landers drained a shot from behind the arc to bring Lynn within reach, trailing 63-59.
Lynn had the opportunity with 18 seconds left but a costly turnover by Berry gave possession back to the Spartans. Tampa would hold off the Blue & White's push to upset Lynn at home by five.
The Fighting Knights shot 32.3 percent from the field in the second half and were led by Landers who had seven points. Lynn out-rebounded UT, 17-16, and had seven offensive boards. Overall the Blue & White saw three players score in double figures as they shot 37.5 percent from the field. Lynn held Tampa's offensive powerhouse Eugene McCrory to just 11 points but the Spartans had four players in double figures with Othniel Shelton leading the way.
Lynn returns to action on the road on Saturday, February 7, at Eckerd. Tip-off is slated for 4 pm versus the Tritons. Fans can follow the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com or by following @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.