BOCA RATON, Fla.- The Lynn University Fighting Knights are off to their best Sunshine State Conference Start since the 2005-06 season after a 71-63 overtime win against Eckerd on Saturday. Lynn improves to 10-2 overall and 4-0 in SSC action while the Tritons are 8-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Cory Thomas and Russell Wilson had career-high nights with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Five members of the Lynn squad scored in double figures while EC's Jerrick Stevenson had a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Lynn rushed off to a quick start taking the lead after Russell Wilson stole the ball and finished with a fast-break layup to put the Blue & White on the board first. With 7:49 to go in the first half, the Fighting Knights led 18-12. Cory Thomas made a free throw to complete a three-point play and tie the game 21-all with 5:50 to go. Eckerd went on a 11-0 to take a 32-21 lead with under a minute to go in the first half. Johnson drained a trey to halt the run but Eckerd added two more points to lead 34-24 at the break.
Eckerd shot 57.1 in the first half and was led by Stevenson who led all scorers with nine points. Cory Thomas led the Fighting Knights with seven points and three blocks helping his team to shoot 34.6 percent from the floor. EC out-rebounded the Blue & White 23-7 in the half with 17 defensive rebounds.
Eckerd extended its lead to 19 points in the opening minutes of the half. The Fighting Knights slowly battled back and closed the deficit to 13 with 13:09 remaining in regulation. A jumper by Thomas at 9:28 put Lynn within a 10-point frame. Fred Landers made a huge block with eight minutes to go followed by a jumper from Harrison which put the Fighting Knights within eight, 50-42.
A pair of free throws by Wilson with 2:21 left in regulation put the Blue & White within one, 55-54. Raickovic was fouled on a defensive rebound sending him to the line to shoot a pair of free throws. He connected on both the put Lynn ahead for the first time since the first half, 56-55, with 1:30 to go. Lynn led 58-55 with 16 seconds left to play but Eckerd's Stevenson hit a three-pointer with three seconds left to tie the game 58-58. A last second shot by Wilson from the opposite end of the court didn't connect and the Fighting Knights and Tritons headed to overtime.
Lynn outscored Eckerd 13-6 in the overtime period. Ben Berry scored a pivotal three-pointer with 1:56 to go put the Blue & White ahead by two, 65-63. Seconds later Berry stole the ball from Stevenson and finished with a fast break slam dunk to give Lynn the four-point lead. Four successful free throws by Fred Landers in the final minute held off the Tritons for Lynn to escape with the 71-63 win.
The Fighting Knights made 23-of-26 shots from the charity stripe to shoot 88.5 percent from the free throw line in the win. Eckerd out-rebounded Lynn, 48-30, and shot 41.1 percent from the field. Five Knights scored in double-figures as Cory Thomas had a career-high 13 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Aaron Harrison was a rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Berry had 11 points while Wilson and Raickovic each had 10 points.
Lynn will face non-conference rival Palm Beach Atlantic on the road on Wednesday, January 14, for a 7:30 pm game before traveling to Saint Leo on Sunday, January 18. Make sure to log on to LynnFightingKnights.com to stay updated on the men's basketball team's hot SSC start.
Don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook and follow @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.