Anthony Covino photo
His eyes have it. Darnell Edge (1) sizes up the Bryant defense Saturday as he poured in a career-high 34 points to lead the Knights to a NEC triumph.
By JUSTIN RIMPI
The FDU Knights defeated Northeast Conference foe Bryant Bulldogs 97-84 at home on Saturday night, ignited by senior guard Darnell Edge with a career-high 34 points.
After two made free throws by Bryant junior forward Juan Cardenas, the Knights saw their lead whittled down to 68-67. With the game on the line, Edge drilled a 3-pointer to put the Knights ahead 71-67 with 7 minutes to play.
The Bulldogs would never get any closer than 4 points. Edge hit 6 of 7 from behind the arc, and 11 of 14 overall. Sophomore guard Jahlil Jenkins, sophomore guard Xzavier Malone-Key and sophomore forward Elyjah Williams contributed double-figure scoring on the night.
Jenkins poured in 18 points, while Malone-Key finished with 15 and Williams added 12. Jenkins matched his career-high with five steals in this conference showdown.
The Knights are in second place in the NEC, trailing St. Francis (Pa.) by two games. This victory brings the Knights’ record to 13-13 on the season, 8-6 in NEC play. The Bulldogs drop to 8-17, 5-9 in the NEC. The Knights lost to St. Francis (Pa.) 87-62 Thursday night as Edge was held to eight points.
The Knights have only four games remaining until the NEC tournament begins.
Junior forward Kaleb Bishop was unable to play due to a knee injury he suffered during the St. Francis (Pa.) loss. Bishop is expected to be back next game.
Junior guard Pat McNamara, subbing for Bishop, tied his career-high with 9 points. drilling 3 of 4 from downtown.
McNamara is from Arlington Heights, Ill. and played a season-high 12 minutes in the game. McNamara has played a total of 46 minutes entering the game.
The Knights hit 13 of 23 from the 3-point line. Entering tonight’s game, they were leading the NEC with 38-percent shooting from 3-point territory.
“A great bounce-back win. I’m just really happy for our players,” said FDU head coach Greg Herenda. “Tonight’s game was Pat McNamara. One year ago today, on this court, he broke his ankle against Bryant. I kept on telling him Pat you’re gonna win us a game, and this the game. Tonight, he helped us win the game. It was symbolic.”
The Rothman Center exploded after back-to-back 3’s by Edge and Jenkins put the Knights up 93-80 with just under 50 seconds remaining.
Junior guard Adam Grant was the leading scorer for the Bulldogs with 29 points. Junior forward SaBastian Townes added 23 points.
The Bulldogs fought and clawed all throughout the second half, but the Knights would respond with timely shot creation and shot making on the following offensive possession.
The Knights led from start to finish and never allowed the Bulldogs to get their nose out in front. The Knights’ largest lead was 42-25 with just under 3 and a half minutes remaining in the half. The lead ballooned to 17 after McNamara drilled in one of his 3’s.
The Knights scored 45 points in the first half on 16 of 27 shooting from the field and 7-12 from three. Edge scored 19 of his of his 34 in the first half on 7 of 8 shooting, 3 of 4 from three. The Knights took a 12-point lead, 45-33, into intermission.
The Knights get back in action on Thursday as they host Sacred Heart in another crucial NEC tilt.