Lynch Sets MVC Record; ISU's Season Ends in CBI Semifinals at Siena
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March 26, 2014
ALBANY, N.Y. - Reggie Lynch set the Missouri Valley Conference freshman single-season blocks record, recording five blocks to finish with 96 this year, but Siena defended its home court in a 61-49 win over Illinois State Wednesday night at Times Union Center in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) semifinals.
With 14:30 remaining in the second half, Lynch blocked Brett Bisping's shot-attempt to set the MVC record previously held by Creighton's Benoit Benjamin in 1982-83. He also finished second on the ISU single-season list behind Jeff Wilkins' 103 stuffs in 1976-77. Lynch led Illinois State against the Saints in points (15) and rebounds (seven) as the Redbirds' season ended with an 18-16 record.
Daishon Knight teamed up with Lynch to reach double figures, earning 11 points. ISU never gained a lead in the loss, as Bisping led Siena with 20 points and 13 rebounds to help the Saints advance to the CBI championship with an 18-17 mark.
Siena jumped out to a 9-0 lead with three field goals from Bisping during the Saints' opening stretch. Tony Wills netted Illinois State's first basket on a layup at the 15:20 mark, and ISU pulled within 12-9 on a Nick Zeisloft three-pointer.
After Siena extended its advantage to 20-11, Wills' three-point play followed by a Lynch free throw pulled the Redbirds within 26-19. The Saints took a 31-21 lead into halftime.
Lynch grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a layup to start the second half as ISU outscored Siena 6-2 to pull within 34-27 at the 15:08 mark. Lynch proceeded to set the MVC freshman blocks record by swatting Bisping's shot-attempt at the 14:30 mark in the second half. A 7-3 Redbird run then trimmed the Saints' advantage to 42-35 with 7:51 to play.
A dunk by Lynch on an ally-oop from Paris Lee pulled the Redbirds within 51-43 with 4:23 remaining. After Siena regained a double-digit lead, the Redbirds pulled within 58-48 on a Knight free throw with 53 seconds to play, but that was as close as Illinois State got, as Siena held off the Redbirds, 61-49.
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