Mike Holloway Jr. scored 11 points on Senior Day and hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line. Photo By Anthony Covino
By JUSTIN RIMPI
The FDU men’s basketball team defeated the Wagner Seahawks by a score of 74-66 on Senior Day as all five of the Knights starters scored in double figures.
This victory brings the Knights overall record to 15-13, 10-6 in NEC play. This puts the Knights firmly in second place in the conference trailing only St. Francis (Pa.) by one game following their loss earlier today.
The Knights had the lead all the way up to 17 at multiple times in the second half. The Knights had control of the game for almost the entire 40 minutes. Following a fast break lay up by sophomore guard Xzavier Malone-Key, the Knights were leading 6-5 with a little more than 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Knights would never look back from that point, and led for the remaining 34 minutes.
Three Knights were commemorated in a pregame ceremony at center court for their contributions to the program. Forward Nadi Beciri, forward Michael Holloway Jr., and guard Darnell Edge were all honored. Beciri has been injured all throughout the season, and was unable to play in today’s game.
“On a night like tonight it is all about Mike, Darnell, Nadi and our manager Nick [Tucci]. We needed to send them off the right way. Their friends and family were here,” said FDU head coach Greg Herenda. “They [Edge and Holloway Jr.] turned this thing around and made it a really good home court. They are going to be hard to replace.”
The crowd of 742 rose to their feet and cheered vociferously once Edge and Holloway Jr. were substituted out of the game with 40 seconds remaining.
Edge finished the game with 22 points on 4 of 6 shooting from 3-point range. Edge entered today ranked seventh in the nation in three-point shooting percentage hitting just under 47 percent of his shots from long range. Holloway Jr. finished the game with 11 points. Sophomore guard Jahlil Jenkins chipped in with 15 points of his own, Malone-Key finished with 10 and junior forward Kaleb Bishop finished with 11 points of his own.
“It is just life changing. Playing for this program, putting up the numbers that I have put up, and winning a championship,” said Holloway Jr. following his final regular season home game in the Rothman Center. “I will be forever grateful and it will be something that I will never forget.”
Entering the game, Holloway was the Knights 11th all-time leading scorer and their second leading rebounder in program history.
“It is bittersweet. We are only one game back of the top seed, and we must do our part the next two games,” said Edge following the game. “Hopefully we can get to play a few more home games in here.”
Sophomore forward Nigel Jackson was the leading scorer for the Seahawks with 22 points and four three-pointers.
The Knights played a solid defensive game as they held Wagner to 21-of-54 shooting from the field and 36 percent shooting from downtown.
The Knights led 31-25 entering halftime behind 11 points by Bishop.
FDU came out of the break making three shots from behind the arc in the first four minutes of the half. As a team, the Knights shot 5-of-8 from three-point range in the second half.
Edge made all three of his attempts from behind the arc in the second half and had 15 points in the half.
“Tonight, their careers, this was their exclamation point. To win at home on Senior Night was very special for both of those guys” said Herenda.
The Knights get back in action Feb. 27 as they travel to play a conference game at Mount St. Mary’s.