By JULIAN BELL
(HACKENSACK) – The men’s basketball team outscored the FDU Florham Devils by 62 points in their 111-49 victory on Nov. 15, the largest margin in school history. The game also featured FDU’s first pep band performance, which kept the crowd moving with songs like “Eye of the Tiger.”
Knights Head Coach Greg Herenda was impressed by his team’s dominant performance.
“We shared the ball and played good team defense,” Herenda said. “We played as a unit and quite honestly, we needed to do that to get our first win at home. I’m proud of having 27 assists in one game. It means that we were passing it and we weren’t just jacking shots up and playing one-on-one basketball.”
Junior forward Mike Holloway Jr. and junior guard Darnell Edge led the team in scoring, each coming away with 17 points. Edge went 3-for-4 from the charity stripe, while Holloway was 1-for-1.
Coach Herenda said that his veterans showed up to play, and he singled out Darian Anderson.
“Mike was really solid once he got going,” Herenda said. “And it was tremendous to see Darian on the floor and in uniform. In the first half he had twelve points and it was just good to see him back. He’s got a long way to get back to 100 percent, but he’s the heart and soul of our team.”
The Knights (4-2) out- performed the Devils (0- 5) on rebounds 45-34 and came away with twice as many steals with 12. FDU also finished 10-20 in three- pointers, compared to FDU- Florham, who went 5-20. Herenda was also impressed with the way the
“We put Noah Morgan in the starting lineup,” Herenda said. “Elijah Williams came o the bench and was great, and Jahlil [Jenkins] has been really really good from day one, very solid. So, we have good young players that have adapted to our system.”
The Knights came away with 63 first half points, while holding the Devils to 23. Metro got o to a slow start. Florham guard Steve Herdman put up a shot good for two, to start o the action. Knights freshman forward Noah Morgan responded with a shot from downtown.
Momentum shifted halfway through the first when freshman guard Jahlil Jenkins put up a 3-pointer, giving the Knights an 18-8 lead. Metro’s defense held Florham to 8 points for close to three minutes, scoring 11 straight points.
The Devils broke loose from the time freeze, when senior forward Veon Lassiter made a layup inside the paint. It was too late, and with the Knights leading 29-10, the game became a blowout. FDU continued to dominate the half, and created a 40-point de cit. Junior forward Mike Holloway made a layup to close out the half for Knights.
FDU played without two of their key players from last season: Earl Potts Jr. and Stephan Jiggetts. Herenda said his team still got the job done.
“Quite honestly, it’s a good problem to have,” Herenda said. “I have a lot of good players, so it’s going to be hard dividing the minutes, but that’s okay. We have a really strong freshman class and we have nine deep without even trying. We lose players, but we always continue to build the program and I have a great staff that brings in new players, so we’re looking totally ahead and we’re not looking behind.”
The Knights continued to widen the gap in the second. Holloway Jr. started o the action with another layup good for two. The Devils searched for some daylight, when Steve Herdman put up a three-pointer, good from way down. He went 2-3 in three’s and had one
steal. The Knights were too strong and took over the rest of the game. Most of the starters were put out and Herenda’s bench finished the job. Sophomore guard Brian Fabre closed out the game after hitting a jumper with 17 seconds remaining.
Herenda has his sights on another title shot as the playoffs quickly approach.
“I just want to sustain it and play for 40 minutes every night all the way up until March, to win another
championship,” Herenda said. “That’s why from afar people think I’m crazy and I am. But, I’m crazy about winning a championship, not winning games. I know you have to play a certain way every day, every possession in order to have a chance to do that, and for the most part, this team is figuring that out. This team has a lot of work to do, but the end result and the end goal for our team is to win another championship.”