SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Ibn Lynn's monster third quarter and a big run to close out the game ignited the Union Catholic boys basketball team to a 64-52 victory over Elizabeth on Tuesday night in Scotch Plains.
With star guard Jaheim Tanksley (18 pts. per game) sidelined with an injury he sustained in a loss to Bergen Catholic (ranked No. 9 in NJ) this past Sunday, UC needed to have some players step up and deliver in his absence against a very good Elizabeth squad.
Lynn, who finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot, did exactly that.
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With UC clinging to a 34-32 lead early in the third quarter, Lynn, a 6-5 senior guard, used an array of strong moves to the basket and hit a long three-pointer to score 11 of UC's 12 points during a 12-4 run to give the Vikings a 46-36 lead. Amir Britt scored on a la big layup at the end of the third quarter to give UC a 48-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
After Elizabeth (now 6-4 on the season) cut the deficit to 52-49 with 5:22 to play in the fourth quarter, Uc clamped down defensively and finished the game on a 12-3 run to secure the victory and improve to 7-3 on the season (2-0 vs. Union County opponents). Rob Miller, who finished with 16 points, scored seven points (five from the free throw line) for UC within a span of 28 seconds during that game-clinching spurt. Miller also had seven rebounds and three assists for UC.
Justin Archer had another big all-around game for UC in the low post with 15 points and seven rebounds.
It was a big bounce-back victory for the Vikings after its 69-40 setback to Bergen Catholic on Sunday, which snapped UC's six-game winning streak.
UC, which has one of the state's toughest schedules, will be back in action on Thursday at home against another powerful opponent, St. Mary of Eliz., which is ranked No. 11 in the state.