By ANTHONY COVINO
The FDU men’s basketball team is second in the Northeast Conference standings and riding a five-game winning streak to break even overall with a 11-11 and 6-4 record in the NEC.
The winning streak started with an 87-69 win over Mount St. Mary’s (MD). The Knights’ second consecutive win was a 60-58 win over St. Francis Brooklyn. The Knights’ third straight was a 78-63 win over Bryant. The fourth was an 80-77 win over LIU Brooklyn, which was broadcasted on ESPNU. The Knights’ fifth straight win was a 97-94 double-overtime win over first-place Robert Morris Saturday at home.
“The team is together, on the same page, we just need to take every game one step at a time,” said head coach Greg Herenda. “I just love the players and how they are responding to the competition, the coaching and the culture.”
Five Knights are averaging at least 10 or more points a game. The Knights’ leading scorer is senior guard Darnell Edge with an average of 16.3 points per game (PPG). Sophomore guard Jahlil Jenkins averages 13.3 PPG. Sophomore guard Xzavier Malone-Key averages 12.7 PPG. Senior forward Mike Holloway Jr. averages 11.2 PPG. Junior forward Kaleb Bishop averages 10.3 PPG.
Sophomore forward Elyjah Williams also averages 7.8 PPG.
The next two weeks for the Knights are crucial to their season and the conference standings. The Knights will look to extend their winning streak when they take on Sacred Heart on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 6pm.
Next, they will play St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 4 P.M.
Lastly, they will play Saint Francis on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 6 P.M. which is “Love and Basketball Night” and this game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.
The Knights must win all three of these games to keep their place in the NEC standings and to keep the winning streak going, leading up to the end of the season.
The confidence they have during this winning streak is remarkable and the team chemistry is at the highest it has been. If the winning streak continues, this team will be the best team in the conference and the most talented team going into the NEC Tournament, which begins March 6 at the top four regular- season finishers.
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Xzavier Malone-Key is averaging 12.7 points per game.
Written February 6, 2019
Photograph by Anthony Covino