The Lynn men’s basketball team is off to its best start in 20 years, hosting a 21-4 record with one week left in the regular season. The team is coming off of a road victory at Florida Tech to improve their record to 14-5 in the conference and 6-3 on the road.
Staring off strong, the team began the season with 11 straight wins for the first time since the 1998-99 season. Lacking a consistent leading scoring threat, the team has opted to use depth in both the starting lineup and its bench to create success. Starters Jamal Palmer, Brandon Bornelus, Ryan Peterson and Darius Moore all average at least ten points per game.
The Fighting Knights won their first 15 home games in a row at the de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center. The team lost their first home game last Wednesday to Nova Southeastern University 89-85. They have found themselves in the national rankings since the second week of December, with their highest position coming at No. 11 on Jan. 29.
“Our senior leadership and our experience has a lot to do with our ability to win a lot of close games,” said Jeff Price, head coach. “Good teams find a way to win and our guys are doing that.”
The Blue and White are 12-3 in games that have been decided by five points or less, with three of those games being decided on buzzer-beaters from Bornelus, Palmer and Moore.
“Our team chemistry is what separates us from teams in the past,” said Moore, junior point guard. “We are always hanging out together on and off the court.”
Hosting a 14-5 record in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) has put them in second place to this point in the season. They sit behind first-place Nova and in front of third-place Florida Southern.
“It means a lot [to be ranked throughout the majority of the season]. It speaks great volumes for our basketball program and for the national standpoint of Lynn,” said Price. “We strive to get Lynn basketball back on the national level and I think we’ve done that.”
As they look toward the postseason, the team has two regular season games left. This Wednesday they travel to Miami Shores, Fla., to play conference rival Barry at 7:30 p.m. They then close the regular
season schedule at home on Saturday, March 2 against Tampa at 4 p.m.
The squad has won 20 regular season games for the first time since the 2004-05 season. To add to the excitement, they have already beaten foes Barry and Tampa earlier this season.
“I am looking forward to making a run in the NCAA tournament,” said Daniel Cooper, senior forward. “I think this team has potential to go deep in the tournament and continue to put Lynn on the map nationally.”
The fight for the SSC Championship begins on Wednesday, March 6 at home. The semifinals and championship games will be played at Nova Southeastern University on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. To watch all of the remaining games this season, individuals can head to LynnFightingKnights.com