FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior James Cage scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half Tuesday night, leading Lynn University past Florida Gulf Coast University, 69-56, in NCAA Division II South Region men’s basketball action.
The Fighting Knights (11-3) have now won three straight and seven of their last eight games since falling to the Eagles in early December. FGCU (8-7), meanwhile, lost its record fourth straight game and suffered its fifth loss in the last six games.
Cage was one of three players to hit double figures for Lynn, as senior Sheldon Edwards posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds and junior Andrew Smith knocked down a trio of 3-pointers en route to 13 points.
Senior Leon Woodstock led the Eagles with 17 points, including 13 in the first half, connecting on 7-of-13 shots despite playing the second half with an injured wrist. Senior Marcus Watts added 10 points and five rebounds while junior Beau Bauer and sophomore Yavney Neptune had eight points each.
Following a close first-half that saw Lynn hold a 33-31 lead at the break, the Knights opened the second half with a 13-4 run to build a 46-35 lead with 13:36 to play. After a Neptune lay-up, the Knights scored the next eight points and eventually built a 17-point margin, 56-39, with 10:22 remaining, on a jumper by Edwards.
FGCU, as they did in the earlier game at Lynn, began to mount a late comeback. After the teams traded baskets by Neptune and Edwards, the Eagles responded with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to seven, 58-51, when senior Gabe Pean hit his first 3-point field goal in seven games. But after Watts missed a pair of free throws with a chance to cut the lead to five at 5:46, the Eagles were held to just five free throws down the stretch. The Knights only missed one field goal and hit all four foul shots in the final six minutes to seal the win. Lynn shot 52% in the final half and connected on 11-of-13 from the charity stripe for the game.