PBA Unable to Slow Down Fighting Knights Attack as Lynn Prevails 86-76

Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Sailfish men’s basketball team welcomed in Palm Beach County rival Lynn University on Wednesday evening for a midweek showdown at the Rubin Arena. With both teams sporting new coaching staffs and vastly different rosters the game saw many fresh faces rise to the occasion as LU pulled away in the second-half for an 86-76 victory over the ‘Fish.

The Fighting Knights improve to 5-1 on the season while the Sailfish drop to 1-6 in the early season results.

Lynn produced a balanced scoring load with varying players stepping up against an injury-depleted Sailfish squad that was without two starting players in Marcus Hardy and Marko Djekovic.

Shooting guard Kaleb Clyburn led five double-digit scorers for the Fighting Knights on the night with 19 points on 4-of-7 from the floor while producing three of the team’s 12 made three-pointers.

Both teams shot well from beyond the arc in the ballgame with the Knights coming thru on 12-of-26 (46.2-percent) attempts while the Sailfish connected for 9-of-21 (42.9-percent) from downtown.

An exciting first-half saw eight lead changes between the two teams as neither side could push thru for a significant advantage. Senior Ian Sitz gave the Sailfish their biggest lead of the first stanza on a tip-in basket to move in front 21-15 with 8:14 to play before LU had a run of their own.

The two teams reached a tie score for the sixth and final time with 47 ticks left in the first-half as Michael Birts made good on one-of-two free-throws as the teams settled for a 38-38 halftime score.

Clyburn and Josh Soto each paced the LU offense in the first-half with 10 points each while the Sailfish were led by nine points each from Evin Graham and Christian Martinez.

The Fighting Knights started hot in the second-half with an opening 3-pointer from Haki Stampley to break the stalemate before the Sailfish opted for a spurt of their own to re-take the lead a few minutes later when Clayton Williams knocked down a trey to push PBA in front 45-43 with 17:02 to play.

That unfortunately would be the last lead the Sailfish would see as LU kept the advantage until the final horn sounded, only extending the lead to double-digits with two free-throws by Clyburn with 21 seconds remaining.

PBA was led by a season-high 19 points from Graham who also contributed his second double-double of the campaign with 19 points and 12 rebounds. The Fort Myers, Fla. native and a transfer from the University of Jacksonville did his damage on 7-of-17 shooting while adding in a perfect 5-of-5 from the line in 33 minutes of court time.

Martinez also had an efficient night by going 5-of-9 from the floor including 3-of-5 from long distance to finish with 13 points off the bench. Williams chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds while Alan Hardy added eight points.

Following Clyburn’s 19 points were 17 points each from the likes of Fred Landers and Aaron Harrison while Stampley and Soto also topped double-digits with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Lynn held a slight advantage on the boards at 45-43 but the bigger advantage came in shooting percentage as LU posted a 47.2-percent (25-53) mark compared to 36.8-percent (25-68) for PBA.

The Sailfish will host Eckerd College on Saturday, Dec. 7th at 2 pm in the Rubin Arena.

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