By Admir Durakovic and Justin Rimpi
Both the Knights and the Seahawks fell back on two of their key players while everyone else could only watch.
Coming off a gut-wrenching double-overtime loss at the Rothman Center on Thursday against Central Connecticut, the Knights were back in action as they traveled to Staten Island to play Wagner College at the Spiro Sports Center.
The Knights were defeated by Wagner 66-60 to bring their overall record to 6-10 on the season and 1-3 in NEC play.
Sophomore guard Xzavier Malone-Key put up a career high 24 points while shooting 10-16 from the field.
The Knights spent 40 minutes chasing another game to end up with nothing to show for it. The Knights did not find themselves in the lead at any point in the game. Right from the opening tip, the Knights were in catch-up mode.
Knights’ sophomore center Oscar Okeke received the nod to get the first start of his career. He had amassed 55 minutes of playing time in 14 games in his college career entering today’s game. Okeke finished with 2 rebounds, 1 block, 4 personal fouls in 8 minutes of playing time.
Senior forward Mike Holloway Jr. made way for Okeke, starting the game on the bench. Holloway Jr started on the bench for the first time this season and for the first time since Nov. 2015 against FDU-Florham. Holloway Jr. led the Knights in scoring in the first half with 13 points.
“I brought Mike off of the bench to take the pressure off of him and he responded in a huge way,” head coach Greg Herenda said, in a news release from Fairleigh Dickinson University Athletics. “Oscar [Okeke] obviously was very active and brought a lot to the table early.”
Holloway Jr. put up 19 points in total to join Malone-Key as the only Knights to score in double digits. The two combined for 43 points and 72 percent of the team’s total points.
Redshirt senior guard Romone Saunders lead the Seahawks with 25 points and 11 rebounds and was backed up by senior guard Elijah Davis who finished with 20 points of his own.
In a similar fashion to the Knights, Saunders and Davis were the only two players to score more than 10 points and they accounted for 68 percent of Wagner’s points.
Wagner dominated the Knights on the boards early in this game, finishing the first half ahead by 5 rebounds at 20-15. The Seahawks outrebounded the Knights by 16, finishing 38-22 on the afternoon.
Senior guard Darnell Edge, who is averaging 16 points per game went scoreless in today’s game, including a three pointer that was waved off after the shot clock expired 8 minutes into the second half.
This was the first time Edge was held scoreless since March 1, 2017 at Wagner in the same building, which was the final game of Edge’s sophomore season.
The Knights had 10 players feature for them against the Seahawks, but only five players were able to record any points in the contest.
The Knights have lost five out of their last six games to find themselves ninth in the NEC out of 10 teams.
At this point in the season, the Knights are only ahead of Mount Saint Mary’s in the conference standings, Mt. St. Mary’s is currently 0-4 in conference play.
FDU gets back in action Jan. 19 as they go on the road to face LIU Brooklyn at 7 p.m.