The Florida Tech Panthers (10-11, 4-9 SSC) got a career-high 28 points from Runako Ziegler and 25 from Derek Murphy, but in the end, it wasn’t enough as the Panthers fell to host Lynn, 97-88. Sesan Russell contributed 13 points. Murphy led the Panthers with six rebounds.
Florida Tech shot 49.3 percent from the field, going 19-of-60. That included 5-for-12 from three-point range (41.7 percent), and they were 25-for-35 from the free-throw line (71.4 percent). They also won the rebounding battle 32-27.
Christian Peevy led the Fighting Knights with 24 points. Jordan Allen scored 22 points including six threes, and Brandon Bornelus had 21. Cameron Gaines had a good all-around game. He had five points, 10 rebounds, and six steals.
Lynn (9-10, 5-8 SSC) went 31-for-60 from the field (51.7 percent), including 13-for-26 from long range.
The Panthers saw Lynn race out to a 14-3 lead and extended that to 20-6 before Florida Tech found their footing. Murphy hit two free throws and a layup before Ziegler got a three-point play to cut the Lynn lead to 20-13. A three by Russell made it 22-16, and soon after, Russell was fouled on a three-pointer made it 24-19 Lynn with 11:45 to go.
Murphy got the hoop and the harm later in the half and Ziegler made two free throws to complete an 18-6 Florida Tech run, cutting the Lynn lead to 26-24 with 9:55 to go. The lead was cut to one a couple of times, but a three by Jameson Evans to make it 33-29.
Back-to-back threes by Bornelus and Peevy extended the lead to 44-33. Evans hit another as part of an 11-0 run before Mate Papai scored to make it 49-35. Lynn outscored the Panthers 11-8 down the stretch and led 60-49 at the half.
Niall Harris hit a three early in the second half to make it 61-48. The Fighting Knights were 13-for-26 from behind the arc, and only four of them came in the second half. One of those came from Darius Moore to make it 67-52 with just under 14 minutes left.
A layup by Murphy cut the lead to 84-75 with 3:49 left, but a three by Moore got it back to 12. Russell’s layup cut it to 89-81 with 1:49 left, A Ziegler free throw cut it to 95-88 with 19 seconds left, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Lynn Box Score
The Panthers return home Wednesday, February 5, to host Barry at 7:30 p.m.