BOCA RATON, Fla. – Despite a huge night from senior David Johnson, the Lynn University men's basketball team turned cold in the final minutes of Wednesday's contest against Palm Beach Atlantic, allowing the Sailfish to close out an 81-76 victory over the Fighting Knights.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Palm Beach Atlantic 81, Lynn 76
Records: Palm Beach Atlantic (10-6), Lynn (8-8)
Location: de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center | Boca Raton, Fla.
Series: Lynn leads 14-7 (last meeting Feb. 18, 2015)
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Lynn offense wasted little time falling into a groove, knocking down jumpers on the first two possessions to go up 5-0 in the first minute. Johnson opened the scoring with a bucket from the top of the key followed by Ben Berry flushing a corner trey off a Johnson dish.
- With a 7-6 lead at the 16:07 mark, Johnson kick started a 9-2 run for the Fighting Knights to secure the largest lead of the half. Johnson notched six straight before Fred Landers capped off the tear with a shot from long range.
- Palm Beach Atlantic jumped out in front for the first time in the game (25-24) with 8:53 left in the opening period behind five consecutive points from Michael Simpson.
- Denzel Richardson was fouled beyond the arc with four seconds left and capitalized on the mishap by sinking all three free-throw attempts, forcing a one-point game (42-41) heading into the locker room.
- Johnson had a massive start, securing a first-half double-double with 19 points, 10 boards and two blocks.
- The 'Fish set the tone with a slam on the opening possession of the second half and held on to the lead for the first six minutes.
- A Jamal Palmer triple put Lynn back in front, 50-49, as Palmer quickly got hot from the field and led the Blue & White on a 13-2 spurt to build a nine-point edge. The run was capped on a magnificent momentum-boosting connection as Johnson tipped a loose ball up to Russell Wilson on the fast break, followed by Wilson laying it off the top of the glass for Johnson to flush home the alley-oop slam off the backboard.
- The tides quickly turned as the Fighting Knights fell ice cold down the stretch, allowing PBA to embark on a five-minute, 15-0 run, putting Lynn behind by nine (77-68) with 1:29 remaining.
- Palmer banked in a buzzer-beater from inside the half-court line as time expired, but it was too little too late as the 'Fish left with the five-point victory.
STATS OF THE GAME:
- Johnson built off his big first half to lead all scorers with a career-high-tying 27 points on an 11-of-22 shooting performance. He rounded out the double-double with a personal-best 13 rebounds, eight coming on the offensive glass, and was one of two Fighting Knights to record four blocks (Berry).
- Landers utilized a 7-for-7 effort at the charity stripe to notch 19 points and brought down seven boards.
- Palmer finished with 15 points off the bench, his second game in a row with 15+.
- Wilson led all players in assists (7) and steals (5), while contributing five rebounds.
- PBA had five players score in double figures.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Lynn recorded eight blocks as a team, its third highest in a game this season, but were split evenly between just two players (Johnson & Berry).
- After receiving 37 points off the bench last time out on Saturday against Embry-Riddle, Lynn notched just 18 tonight (15 from Palmer) compared to PBA's 39.
The Fighting Knights will head to Lakeland, Fla. this Saturday, Jan. 23 to take on the defending national champions, Florida Southern. Tip is slated for 7:30 pm.