No. 5 NSU Avenges Previous Defeat in Overwhelming, 104-71 Win

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – No. 5 Nova Southeastern last loss on Jan. 8 at Lynn. The second meeting with the Fighting Knights was a whole different story, however, as Mark Matthews poured in a game-high 31 points to lead a 59.7 percent-shooting effort by the Sharks in an eventual 104-71 rout in front of the home crowd at the Rick Case Arena. Head coach Jim Crutchfield‘s club raced out to a 17-point cushion at halftime and never looked back in a ball game the Sharks completely controlled for the final 30 minutes.   

Score: No. 5 Nova Southeastern 104, Lynn 71
Records: No. 5 Nova Southeastern (19-2, 13-2 SSC), Lynn (9-12, 5-10 SSC)
Location: Rick Case Arena | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Get Social: Twitter – @NSU_MBasketball | Instagram – @NSU_MBasketball

1st Half | Neither side led by more than three points until the 13-minute mark when Jake Maranville found Nick Smith for a transition three-pointer to give NSU a 17-12 advantage. Two of Matthews’ 21 first-half points extended the margin to eight, and soon grew to 28-19 after Connor Zinaich fed RJ Sunahara for an easy two-handed slam. The lead reached a dozen with 6:18 remaining following back-to-back treys by Mikkel Kolstad and Eddie Puisis. Lynn would narrow the gap back to single digits, yet Matthews would counter with six straight points down the stretch before a Maranville driving finish in the closing moments sent NSU into intermission comfortably ahead 50-33. 

2nd Half | As if 58.3 percent shooting the first half wasn’t good enough, the Sharks added to the onslaught by converting 61.1 percent of their attempts after the break. Building upon its 8-2 spurt prior to halftime, NSU tallied six unanswered points out of the locker room to stretch the cushion to 56-33. Puisis drilled a three off a dish from Smith to make it a 68-43 contest with 15:19 still to play. The advantage then grew to 27 after Kolstad buried a wide-open triple on a drive-and-kick from Matt Weir. Well in command, Lukas Speidel stepped off the bench and drilled two three’s in a span of 1:25 to polish off the Knights with the lead hitting 96-64 with a little over four minutes left in the ball game.


  • NSU led for the final 33:44 of the contest on Wednesday.
  • The Sharks were right at their points-per-game average of 104.1, and have now topped the 100-point plateau a total of 12 times this season.
  • The Sharks’ 59.7 percent shooting night comes after being held to a season-low 37.7 percent from the floor in the season’s first meeting against the Knights.
  • NSU remains a half game back of Florida Southern in the win column for the top spot in the Sunshine State Conference race.


  • Matthews recorded 21 of his 31 points in the first half Wednesday, and has now scored in double figures in 17 straight games. The redshirt senior also notched a game-high six assists in the effort.
  • Sunahara continued his strong play over the past few weeks by finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
  • Kolstad and Maranville tallied 13 points apiece on a combined 11-of-17 shooting.
  • Puisis topped all bench scorers with 12 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 night from beyond the arc.
  • NSU bullied the Knights on the glass, outrebounding Lynn by a margin of 41-23.
  • The Sharks limited Lynn to just 5-of-22 shooting from deep.

In what expects to go a long way in deciding the SSC regular season title, NSU will host No. 6 Florida Southern this Saturday as part of ESPN3’s NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase. For complete coverage of the action, visit the schedule page on or follow the Sharks on Twitter @NSU_MBasketball.


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