The Florida Tech Panthers gave the Lynn Fighting Knights a scare Saturday, before ultimately running out of time and losing 59-57 in a Sunshine State Conference game in Boca Raton.
The Panthers (7-8, 1-6 SSC) used an 11-1 run in the last four minutes of the game to make it a 58-57 game, but Jamal Palmer’s free-throw with 1.8 seconds remaining left the Panthers with no time to get a final shot off.
Derek Murphy led the Panthers with 21 points and Trey Schaneville finished with a career-high 15 points and eight rebounds in the loss. R.J. Coil found himself in foul trouble and finished with one point and three rebounds, while Antonis Pefanis had just five points to go with seven rebounds.
Lynn (13-1, 6-1 SSC) started the game on an 18-3 run and the Panthers answered with a 9-0 run of their own, closing the gap to 21-12. The Panthers continued to fight an uphill battle the rest of the half. It did not help that Coil was hit with a blocking foul at the horn that gave Lynn two free throws to end the half.
Florida Tech coach Billy Mims was incensed with the call and the replay, along with the Lynn commentators agreed that he had a case. The gift two points helped the Fighting Knights take a 35-25 lead into the locker room.
A three by Pefanis started a 7-0 run for Florida Tech that made it 37-32. Nieja Jordan’s layup got the Panthers to within four, 40-36 with 12:49 to go. The Fighting Knights used a three from Brandon Bornelus with 8:58 to go, stretching the lead to 49-40.
Lynn Extended the lead to 55-44 with 6:03 to go, and led 58-49 with 2:57 to go after Michael Baez hit a free throw. Murphy answered with two free throws of his own and Schaneville laid one in with 1:37 to go, making it 58-53.
Layups by Mate Papai and Murphy made it 58-55 with 39 seconds to go. After a miss on the other end by Lynn, Schaneville grabbed the rebound and got around the defense with two seconds left, only to have his layup attempt blocked by Baez.
The miss forced the Panthers to foul and with that, their chance at an upset went by the boards.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Lynn Box Score
The Panthers return home Wednesday to host Embry-Riddle. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m., following the women’s game.