Lakeland, Fla.- On Saturday afternoon the Lynn University's men's basketball team returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in ten years and made quite the statement in a 80-62 win over No. 3 seed Alabama Huntsville. Lynn improves to 20-9 overall tallying its first 20-win season in nine years and will play the winner of No. 2 Barry/No. 7 Union on Sunday, March 15 at 5 pm.
Lynn took a 2-0 lead early on a layup by Aaron Harrison 34 seconds into the game. A pair of free throws by Preston Herring tied the score 2-2. The Fighting Knights responded with a 6-0 run to lead 8-2 at the 18 minute mark after back-to-back three-pointers by Harrison and Fred Landers. The Blue & White pulled ahead by nine, 19-10, with 13:32 to play. The Chargers brought the game within four points, 38-34, with less than five minutes remaining in the half but Lynn went on a 9-1 run to lead by 12 with 2:12 to go. The Fighting Knights held on to lead 52-39 at halftime.
David Johnson and Harrison each had 12 points while Landers had 11. The Blue & White shot 48.5 percent from the floor in the first half but the Chargers shot 50 percent and 40 percent from three-point range. Lynn edged UAH 18-15 in rebounds and capitalized on 10 turnovers by the Chargers. Huntsville was led by Herring and Troy Saxton who each had 11 points while Sexton led all players with six boards.
Back-to-back layups by Russell Wilson and Landers made it a 17-point Lynn lead a minute into the second half. The Chargers responded with a 13-3 run to bring the game within seven points but Aaron Harrison hit a pair of free throws at 11:11 to end Lynn's four and a half minute scoring drought. The Blue & White pulled ahead by as many as 21 and would finish the game with a 18-point lead after UAH's Justin Ward hit a trey with seconds left.
Lynn shot 35.7 percent from the field and held the Chargers to 23.3 percent in the second stanza. Alabama-Huntsville made just 2-of-16 three-point attempts in the frame but edged the Blue & White 24-22 in rebounds. The Fighting Knights blocked seven shots in the second half for a total of nine in the contest. Harrison led all scorers with 11 points in the half.
The Blue & White tandem of Harrison and Landers scored 23 points and 20 points, respectively, in the win. Junior David Johnson had 16 points and blocked a career-high five shots. Lynn shot 42.6 percent from the field overall and had nine turnovers, just half of UAH's total.
The win, which is Lynn's 20th of the season, marks the first NCAA Tournament Victory since 2005 when the Blue & White defeated top-ranked Findlay, 75-66, in the national quarterfinals to reach the Division II Final Four for the second time in program history.
Fans can find more information about the men's basketball program and the NCAA South Region Tournament at LynnFightingKnights.com. Don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook and follow @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the post-season.