Men’s Basketball Pulls Away in Second Half to Defeat Defending National Champions 100-89

Men’s Basketball Pulls Away in Second Half to Defeat Defending National Champions 100-89

Lakeland, Fla. – After trailing by as many as a dozen in the first half, the Lynn University men's basketball team found a way to pull out a win Saturday night, knocking off the defending national champion Florida Southern Mocs by a final of 100-89.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:

Final: Lynn 100, Florida Southern 89
Records:
Lynn (9-8, 3-6 SSC), Florida Southern (8-11, 4-5 SSC)
Location: George W. Jenkins Field House | Lakeland, Fla.
Series: Florida Southern 37-10
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HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • First Half: David Johnson controlled the opening tip, and Fred Landers came away with the first bucket of the game. The defending national champions responded with an 8-0 run, but the Fighting Knights used back-to-back treys from Johnson and Ben Berry to rally right back. The Mocs relied heavily on the three-ball offensively, sinking six of their first ten from behind the arc. All five Lynn starters knocked down a three before the half was over, but Florida Southern combined eight threes with a perfect 9-of-9 effort at the free throw line to take a 55-47 lead into the locker room at halftime.
  • Second Half: Berry and Russell Wilson teamed up to knock down the first five free throws of after the intermission, and Johnson followed with a jumper that cut the deficit to one. The Mocs lost their sharpshooting edge, connecting on just three of their 14 second-half shots from behind the arc. After trailing for more than 19 minutes in the first half, another Landers layup put Lynn in front at the 16:40 mark of the second. The Fighting Knights then turned the cruise control on, expanding the lead to as many as 17 over the next 12 minutes. The Mocs were forced to foul down the stretch but were unable to prevent Lynn from earning the 100-89 victory.

STATS FROM THE GAME:

  • Seven Fighting Knights scored in double-figures, with Landers leading the team with 23 points. Berry and Wilson added 16 and 14 respectively, while Johnson, Allen Baez, Pavle Raickovic, and Jamal Palmer combined for 46 total points.
  • Moc guard Dominique Williams tallied a game-high 24 points, while teammate Tyler Ross tied Johnson and Berry for a game-best in rebounds with eight.
  • After shooting 57.6% from the floor in the first half, Florida Southern shot just 36.8% in the second half. Lynn was the more consistent team, shooting 48.5% in the first half and 48.4% to pull away in after halftime.
  • Florida Southern won the rebound battle by a slim 42-40 margin.
  • Lynn committed just eight turnovers and forced 15.
  • The two teams combined to knock down 19 three-pointers.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • Lander's streak of consecutive games reaching double-figures was extended to 18 games dating back to last season.
  • Baez recorded a career-high seven assists in the first half before finishing his night with nine, one shy of a double-double.
  • Saturday marked the fourth time this season that the Fighting Knights scored 100 points. The Blue & White are 3-1 in those games.
  • Prior to Saturday, Lynn hadn't defeated Florida Southern at Jenkins Field House since 2007.

UP NEXT:
The Fighting Knights return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 27 when they look to even up the season series with Sunshine State Conference foe Nova Southeastern. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 pm from de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center.