BOCA RATON - Florida Southern used a 26-15 run over the final 11 minutes of the game here Saturday to post an 87-77 victory over 24th-ranked Lynn in Sunshine State Conference action at the de Hoernle Center on the Lynn campus.
With the win, the third-ranked Moccasins extend their win streak to six straight games to improve to 17-1 overall and move into sole possession of second place in the SSC standings with a 6-1 mark. Lynn, who was playing its third game in seven days, fell to 12-4 overall and 5-2 in the SSC.
"It was another big road win for us today and I thought our team found a way to win," Moccasin head coach Linc Darner said.
The Mocs, who led 50-39 at the half, saw the Fighting Knights open the second half on a 22-11 run to take a 62-61 lead on a lay-up by Aaron Harrison with 11:15 left in the game. Lynn's run began and ended with buckets from Harrison, who scored 10 of his team high 22 points in the second half.
"I thought we panicked a little bit at the start of the second half as they (Lynn) made their run," said Darner following his 199th win as FSC's coach. "We weren't passing the ball and were playing a lot of 1-on-1. We're not a 1-on-1 team, but once we got back to playing together, we were a different team."
FSC, though, would respond with a 15-4 run capped by two Williams free throws with 4:43 left to give the Mocs a 76-66 lead. The run was keyed by seven points from Williams.
After Lynn scored four straight points to pull within 76-70, the Mocs would close the game on an 11-7 run to set the final margin.
Senior forward Stephen Battle (Waldorf, Md.) led the way offensively for the Mocs as he tallied 24 points, including 15 in the first half. In addition, junior guard Dominique Williams (Haines City, Fla.) added 16 points, while senior All-American guard Kevin Capers (Winter Haven, Fla.) had 14 points, including eight in the second half. Senior guard Tyler Kelly (Pickerington, Ohio) added 12 in the victory as all but one of them came in the first half.
"I thought T.K. and 'Nique played good as they were able hit some shots in the first half and that got us going offensively," Darner added.
In the first half, the Mocs hit four of its first five 3-point shot attempts to take an early 14-9 lead just five minutes into the game. FSC's lead grew to 25-16 following a trey from Battle with 9:45 left in the opening half.
Lynn, though, would respond with an 8-4 run to pull within 29-24 following a basket from David Johnson. The Mocs would answer with a 15-9 run jump started by back-to-back treys from Kelly and capped by a trey from Travis to push out to a 44-33 lead with 2:01 left in the first half.
The team's would each score six points apiece to close out the half to give the Mocs a 51-39 lead at the half.
In addition to the 22 points and 11 rebounds from Harrison, Ben Berry added 20 points, while David Johnson tallied 12 points and eight boards in the loss.
FSC shot 41 percent from the field and 43 percent from the 3-point line and was aided by a 22-for-24 (91.7 percent) effort at the free throw line, including going 12-for-13 at the line after halftime.
The Fighting Knights finished the game shooting 41 percent from the floor and 26 percent from long distance. Lynn was 12-for-15 at the line for the game.
"I thought we did a good job guarding for the most part tonight, aside some that lull we had at the start of the second half," the Mocs coach added. "I also thought we rebounded better in the second half."
In the first half, the Mocs were outrebounded 26-20, but in the second half, they held a 23-17 edge on the glass as both teams finished with 43 boards for the game.
Both teams finished with 13 turnovers on the night as Lynn collected 10 steals and FSC had eight. The Fighting Knights, who lead the SSC in blocked shots, recorded seven blocks in the loss.
Lynn entered the game leading the SSC in steals as they were averaging 13.6 per game and they also forcing 23.5 turnovers per game.
"I thought we handled their pressure well today," added Darner when asked about Lynn's defensive pressure.
FSC will return home to face Rollins (7-11, 0-7 SSC) in a 7:30 p.m. game on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at Jenkins Field House.
"You can throw out the records when we face Rollins. It is always a dogfight and I expect it to be one on Wednesday," Darner said.