Tinney's Free Throws Lift Saints Past Fighting Knights
BOCA RATON, FL – The North Georgia men's basketball team trailed for over 19 minutes in the second half, but when it counted, the Saints rallied in the final seconds to knock off Lynn University and sneak by the Fighting Knights 72-71 on Monday evening in non-conference action.
In his only trip to the free throw line, junior guard Chaun Tinney made the most of his moment with 1.6 seconds remaining, stepping to the line and knocking down both attempts for his only points of the game to bring the Saints from behind for a 72-71 thriller on the road.
With the score knotted at 69-69 and Lynn holding possession with under 10 seconds to play, North Georgia needed a defensive stand and they got just that, forcing a missed shot and Clarence Tillman came away with the rebound and was fouled. The junior guard missed the first of two free throws in the double bonus, but drained the second attempt to give the Saints a one-point edge.
Lynn's Chris Hall wasted no time going the length of the floor and giving the Fighting Knights the lead right back, sending a running shot off the glass to give Lynn a 71-70 lead with under two seconds remaining.
Head coach Chris Faulkner promptly called timeout and setup an inbounds play that turned out to be the difference as Lynn's Chris Watson ran over Tinney before the ball was inbounded, sending Tinney to the line for the winning free throws in a one-point victory.
North Georgia snaps one of the toughest three-game skids in recent history, losing the first two contests by two points each, before falling in overtime last Tuesday evening. The Saints improve to 2-4 on the season with the win, while Lynn falls to 1-3 on the year.
The Saints led much of the first half, but were never able to pull away as the Fighting Knights never let the North Georgia lead stretch over six points. The Saints enjoyed a six-point cushion at three different points in the first half before Josh Garcia buried a three-pointer at the 9:05 mark to give the Fighting Knights their first lead of the game.
Lynn would hold the lead until Pat Moynihan connected from long range with 1:02 remaining in the half, giving the Saints a 36-35 advantage heading to intermission. Carl Taylor hit a jumper less than a minute into the second half to give North Georgia a one-point lead, but the Fighting Knights answered with a bucket eight seconds later to regain the lead they would hold until the final seconds.
Taylor led the Saints with a game-high 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the floor, including a trio of three-pointers and a 5-for-6 performance from the free throw line. Tillman added 13 points and four rebounds as the only other North Georgia player in double figures.
Lynn had five players finish in double figures, led by Terrell William who tallied a team-high 15 points, with nine of them coming from the charity stripe. Hall followed with 12, while three other players had 11 points when the final buzzer sounded.
The Saints will have a week off for final exams before returning to action at Limestone College for the third contest in a season-long four-game road swing. The December 8, matchup will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools with Limestone picking up wins in each of the first three games.