By Julian Bell
(HACKENSACK) – The men’s basketball team fell to Mount St. Mary’s in their second meeting of the season on an NEC home game on Feb. 18. The Knights managed to tie the game up in the first half but were unable to recover after the No. 1 Mountaineers (2-0 against FDU this season) outscored the Knights in the second half.
The Knights (11-16, 9-7 NEC) secured an early eight-point lead in the first half after junior guard Darian Anderson drained a three-pointer from way downtown. Anderson paced FDU by knocking down 10 points during the half. Sophomore guard Darnell Edge tied the game up for the Knights after putting up a three-pointer leaving the game at 34-34 at the start of the second half.
FDU trailed Mount St. Mary’s (15-14, 13-3 NEC) in turnover points with 12, compared to the Mountaineers who accumulated 13 for the evening. The Knights edged their opponent in second chance points and went 18-9. The Knights also dominated under the basket with 34 points in the paint.
FDU’s largest lead occurred in the second half when sophomore forward Mike Holloway made a layup good from within the paint. The largest lead that they allowed their opponent was seven points with 3:36 left in the first half.
The Mountaineers went 52 percent (13-25) from the field during the first half compared to the Knights who shot 44.8 percent (13-29). By the second half, The Mount only went 50 percent (13-26) while FDU shot 57.1 percent (12-21). Both teams shot for about 50 percent on the evening with Mount St. Mary’s averaging almost 40 points in each half.
The Knights were able to maintain their lead throughout much of the second half. Darnell Edge made a layup with 13:12 remaining to play that put FDU up by nine 46-37. Mawdo Sallah responded with a layup of his own from inside the paint, which put the Mountaineers at 41.
The Knights desperately made their way towards the basket as Edge went for a jumper followed by Holloway, who made another layup under the basket with 10:36 remaining. The Mountaineers held on as Junior Robinson knocked down a three-pointer from way downtown.
FDU managed to make their way down the court until the final minutes of the contest. A steal and a layup made by Miles Wilson put Mount St. Mary’s and the Knights at an even 69.
Junior guard Earl Potts Jr. made a layup that put the Knights back up by two. With only 1:37 left, a foul sent the Mountaineers to the free throw line, allowing them to tie the contest at 71. From this point, FDU endured as the Mount took the lead for the remaining seconds of play.
Elijah Long paced the Mountaineers in their victory over FDU by knocking down 11 points with three assists in the first half. Long, who amassed 18 points in the second half with two more assists, finished with a total of 29 points on the night. Robinson trailed his teammate, finishing the game with 17 points, an assist and a steal.
Holloway paced the Knights with 18 points and eight rebounds on the evening. Holloway also made six of his nine free throw attempts. Anderson trailed Holloway by knocking down 17 points and finishing with four rebounds. Other scoring leaders in FDU’s tough loss were Edge and Potts Jr. who scored 15 points and 13 points, respectively. Anderson led the team in three point shooting after doing perfect two-for-two from downtown.
The Knights who have concluded their home game performances, look to make their way into the NEC Tournament. Last season, FDU became NEC Champions after finishing 18-15 in the regular season.