Tampa, Fla.- Lynn University's men's basketball team (8-2) is off to its first 2-0 start in Sunshine State Conference action since the 2011-12 season after Saturday night's 69-63 win over Tampa (6-2). The Fighting Knights erased multiple deficits to hand the Spartans their second SSC loss of the season and fifth defeat overall. Pavle Raickovic led the team in scoring with a game-high 15 points that was matched by UT's Eugene McCrory.
Lynn took the lead first, 6-2, but Tampa responded with a 7-0 run to lead 9-6 at the 17:41 mark. Tampa led by six at 9:49 but an 11-0 run by the Blue & White would find Lynn ahead by five, 23-18, with just over seven minutes to play. An 8-0 run by UT had Lynn trailing 26-23 but Raickovic's layup at 1:33 brought the game within one. Tampa closed out the half on a 7-0 run to lead 33-25 at the break.
Lynn shot 35.5 percent from the field in the opening half and was led by Raickovic who had a team-high 10 points. Tampa shot 46.2 percent from the floor in the half but just 54.5 percent from the free throw line in 11 trips to the charity stripe. McCrory had a half-high 12 points and four rebounds for the Spartans.
Tampa took an eight-point lead, 40-32, with 16:24 remaining in the game but Lynn slowly battled back to take its own eight-point lead, 52-44, with 8:19 to go. Ben Berry drained a three-pointer with 2:17 on the clock. An 8-2 run by UT would make it a two-point game in the Blue & White's favor with under a minute left in regulation. Lynn connected on seven free throws over the final minute to pull away for a six-point win.
Berry had a team-best 13 points in the second half shooting three-for-four from downtown. Russell Wilson and Cory Thomas added six points each in the half while Berry pulled down six rebounds. Lynn shot an impressive 65.2 percent in the second half and held the Spartans to 32.1 percent. Lynn edged Tampa 18-13 in rebounds and outscored UT by 14 points in the final 20 minutes. 22 of Lynn's second half points came off the bench while Tampa scored just two from its reserves.
The Fighting Knights shot 48.1 percent from the field overall and made 11-of-15 shots from the charity stripe in the victory. Raickovic had a team-high 15 points with four rebounds and three blocks. Berry scored all of his 13 points in the second half while adding six rebounds. Harrison had a game-high five steals.
Lynn (8-2, 2-0) heads home to face Nova Southeastern on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 pm in the de Hoernle Sports & Cultural Center. Fans can follow the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com. Don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook and follow @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.