BOCA RATON, Fla. – South Florida's college basketball fans flooded the de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center on Wednesday night, and the top two men's teams in the Sunshine State Conference delivered a show. No. 12-ranked Lynn University held the lead for the first 35 minutes of the game before second-ranked Nova Southeastern went on a fiery run down the stretch to steal an 89-85 triumph and deliver the Fighting Knights their first home loss of the season.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: NSU 89, Lynn 85
Records: #2 NSU (22-2, 16-2 SSC), #12 Lynn (20-4, 13-4 SSC)
Location: de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center | Boca Raton, Fla.
All-Time Series: Lynn leads 23-19
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STATS OF THE GAME:
- Jamal Palmer was lights out in the first half, going 8-of-9 from the field for 21 points at the break. He would finish with a career-high-tying and game-best 28 points, shooting 10-of-15 from the floor, 4-of-8 from long range and 4-for-4 at the free-throw line. The senior guard also led his squad in assists (5) and steals (2).
- Michael Baez registered his fourth consecutive 20-point game, going 8-of-16 from the field and 4-of-4 at the charity stripe for 21 points and seven rebounds.
- After knocking down two triples in the first 1:07 of the game, Darius Moore was unable to convert another downtown attempt. Foul trouble hindered Moore's game throughout, but he finished with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.
- Rasheed Worrell came up big down low, logging team-highs in rebounds (9) and blocks (2) to go along with seven points offensively.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Lynn is now 15-1 this season on its home floor. The 15-game home win streak is the longest in program history.
- In this week's national polls, Lynn is ranked No. 12 (D2SIDA) and No. 14 (NABC), while the Sharks are tabbed No. 2 (D2SIDA) and No. 3 (NABC).
- With an 87-85 win in Fort Lauderdale earlier this season, the Sharks pick up the season sweep over the Fighting Knights. NSU has won both matchups by a combined six points.
- NSU sweeps the series over Lynn for the first time since 2013-14.
- With the hot hand over the past month, Baez now ranks fourth in the SSC on the season at 17.6 points per game.
- Lynn outshot NSU from the floor and from the free-throw line.
- Lynn shot 55.0-percent from the field, good for the team's second-highest FG% this season. The Fighting Knights also went 11-of-13 at the stripe (84.6%).
- NSU went on a 16-2 run late in the second half to steal the edge from Lynn.
- Mark Matthews and David Dennis combined to score 24 of NSU's 34 first-half points.
- The Sharks did not register a block, while Lynn posted four.
- With the win, NSU clinches at least a share of the SSC regular season title.
The Blue and White travel to Florida Tech for their next competition on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. in Melbourne.