Men's basketball settles for split in 2019-2020 NHTI New Year's Classic, falling to Lynx 84-72 despite valiant effort

Men's basketball settles for split in 2019-2020 NHTI New Year's Classic, falling to Lynx 84-72 despite valiant effort

The Berkeley College men's basketball team will leave Concord, New Hampshire with a split in the NHTI New Year's Holiday Classic, as yesterday, the Knights fell to the Lynx by a score of 84-72. The game took place at the Goldie Crocker Wellness Center. With the defeat, Berkeley slipped back under .500, falling to 6-7. On the flip side, NHTI improved to an impressive mark of 10-2 for the 2019-2020 season.

Despite the loss for the Knights, five players finished the afternoon in double figures, including Turray Bynum, as he finalized his afternoon with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Joshua Hardy put forth another solid effort, netting 12 points and snatching eight rebounds, and Tristan Polnitz registered 12 points, five rebounds, and a pair of dimes. Robert Soriano put forth a versatile effort, finishing with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds, and a pair of steals, and Nigel Hemingway scored 11 points and added three steals.

In the victory for NHTI, Sean Riley finished with a game-high 21 points, connecting on seven of his 12 shots from the floor. He also snatched four rebounds, while adding two assists and a pair of steals. J'Quavious Thurmond posted a double-double with 16 points and game-highs of 14 rebounds and six assists, and Jymir Thompson and Marquise Lewis scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The game was tied 6-6 in the opening three minutes, but NHTI took the lead for good at 16:58 of the first half when Dante Cingire converted on a layup to give the Lynx an 8-6 edge. From there, NHTI gradually built its lead, grabbing a commanding 48-27 edge as the teams entered the locker room at halftime.

The Knights used the opening six minutes of the second half battling back, using a ferocious 17-3 run to slice the Lynx lead to seven points, 51-44. A modest 5-0 spurt by NHTI put the Lynx back ahead by 12 (56-44), but Berkeley answered with another impressive run (7-0) to pull to within five (56-51) with 10:45 remaining.

Over the next 9:24, the Lynx maintained their edge, but never went up by more than nine in that span. Berkeley was within striking distance, down just six points, 73-67, with 1:21 remaining in the game. NHTI, though, would drill 11 of its 12 free throw attempts during the final 76 seconds to solidify a victory.

Berkeley lost the game despite shooting a higher percentage from the floor. The Knights hit on 29 of their 68 attempts on the afternoon (42.6 percent), while the Lynx converted on 25 of their 63 shot attempts (39.7 percent). NHTI held a slim 40-37 edge in the rebounding department, while also registering 17 assists to Berkeley's 13. The Knights lost the turnover battle, committing 18 miscues while forcing 15 opposition mistakes. Opportunities at the free throw line were incredibly one-sided, with the Knights draining seven of their 12 shots from the charity stripe, while the Lynx hit on 27 of their 36 attempts at the line.

The Knights will return to the court Wednesday evening, as Berkeley will welcome the Falcons of Fisher College to New York. The game between the two squads will take place at the Hill Center on the campus of St. Joseph's College of Brooklyn. Start-time is scheduled for 8:15pm.