BOCA RATON, Fla. – Behind a career-high 32 points from senior Fred Landers, Lynn University's men's basketball team got its first Sunshine State Conference victory of the season on Saturday. Both sides fell into foul trouble early in the second half, but the Fighting Knights were able to outlast the Lions in a free-throw battle to secure the 97-91 triumph.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Lynn 97, Saint Leo 91
Records: Lynn (4-3, 1-3 SSC), Saint Leo (6-3, 2-2 SSC)
Location: de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center | Boca Raton, Fla.
Series: Lynn leads 33-9 (last meeting Feb. 14, 2015)
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The contest started at a frantic pace with both teams storming up and down the court, converting inside chances for early buckets. Just over two minutes into the game, 16 points were already recorded as Saint Leo went up 10-6.
- Saint Leo popped a triple to take a 13-12 lead (its last of the game), before Allen Baez responded with a trey of his own 10 seconds later.
- With 10:57 left in the half, Jamal Palmer knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, pushing Lynn further out in front on an 8-1 run. Denzel Richardson tallied seven of Lynn's final nine points to give the home side a 48-37 edge at halftime.
- Richardson closed out the first frame leading all players on the floor with 13 points, while Landers was already nearing a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.
- The Lions came out strong in the second half, taking off on a 13-4 spurt to close the deficit to two points.
- Both teams fell into the bonus halfway through the period, resulting in multiple critical free-throw situations down the stretch.
- Dante Scholl found Richardson for a two-handed slam with 5:57 left to play to give the Blue & White their largest lead of the game, 87-74.
- Saint Leo brought the score back within three with 35 seconds left in the contest, but converted foul shots from Baez and Landers closed out the win.
STATS OF THE GAME:
- Landers bested his career-high scoring output yet again, utilizing a 12-of-13 performance from the charity stripe to finish with 32 points. The senior pulled down 10 rebounds to round out his first double-double on the year.
- Richardson knocked down 20 points for the second game in a row on 8-of-15 shooting.
- Russell Wilson notched his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards, falling just short of the triple-double with a game-high eight assists.
- David Johnson (12) and Palmer (11) rounded out the Fighting Knights in double-figure scoring. Johnson added in six rebounds, two helpers and a game-high three blocks.
- Lynn shot a season-high 51.4-percent from the field (36-70).
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Lynn outrebounded Saint Leo on the offensive glass (16-6), leading to a 20-4 advantage in second-chance points.
- The Blue & White have recorded their two highest scoring outputs this season in the last two games (101, 97).
The Fighting Knights take a break from the conference schedule until the New Year, but will play host to three nonconference opponents over the next two weeks, starting with a 4:00 p.m. contest against Armstrong State on Saturday, Dec. 12.