By Justin Rimpi and Anthony Covino
Managing Editor and Sports Editor
The Knights opened up the 2019-2020 basketball season against their sister school FDU Florham.
The fans in attendance were treated to a dominating performance by the Knights as they blew out the Devils 101-52.
The Knights celebrated their 2019 NEC Championship, and their first ever NCAA tournament win against Prairie View A&M, by hanging a banner in the Rothman Center.
The Rothman Center was raucous all night, with everyone in attendance aware they were witnessing history in the form of a banner commemorating a historic 2018-2019 season being hung in the rafters.
The first 500 fans also received a replica banner.
The Devils took their only lead two minutes into the game when junior guard Oliver Ortman hit a three pointer to give his team a one point lead, 3-2. After that point, it was all downhill for the Devils.
They had no answer for the offensive firepower of the Knights, with 11 Knights scoring in the game.
“It was a good team effort. We got the ball inside. We had a size advantage and got everyone involved,” head coach Greg Herenda said. “It was good from the banner to the crowd. Final result was very positive. Give FDU Florham some credit for coming out.”
The leading scorer for the Knights was sophomore guard Jahlil Jenkins who poured in 21 points in the victory.
Junior forward Elyjah Williams, freshman guard Brandon Rush, and senior forward Kaleb Bishop all scored in double-figures during the rout.
The Knights shot 59 percent from the floor and 36 percent from deep.
The story of the game was not how the Knights played on the offensive end of the floor, but instead how they played on the defensive end.
The Knights held their opponents to 28 percent shooting from the field and 26 percent shooting from long range.
The Knights cruised into halftime with a 56-21 lead and were in control going into the second half. This allowed them to coast to victory over the game’s final 20 minutes.
The Knights were able to knock some of the rust off before seeing their schedule stiffen when the team travels to play schools like Kentucky and Notre Dame.
The Knights get back in action on November 8 as they go on the road to face DePaul.
“Next game at DePaul is going to be tough, playing a big east team,” Herenda said.
The Knights beat the Prairie View A&M Panthers 82-76 to earn their first NCAA tournament victory.
Photo by Kenneth Ramirez Castro