By Anthony Covino
Men’s basketball lost in a double-overtime thriller at Merrimack College, 74-71, on Thursday, Jan. 23. This was FDU’s first game against the Warriors, who joined the Northeast Conference this year .
This was a tough loss for FDU head coach Greg Herenda, in his first game against his alma mater.
FDU falls to 4-14 with a 2-5 record in the NEC. Merrimack improves to 13-8 with a 7-1 NEC record in the NEC. Merrimack now sits atop the NEC standings, while FDU sits 10th in the standings.
FDU will look to bounce back at Sacred Heart on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 3:30 p.m. Merrimack will look to extend its winning streak to 7, hosting Saint Francis, Brooklyn, on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m.
Senior forward Kaleb Bishop had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Knights. Sophomore guard Brandon Powell had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Junior forward Elyjah Williams had 11 points. Preseason All-NEC selection, junior guard Jahlil Jenkins, averaging 15 points-per-game, scored 9 points. Redshirt freshman forward Marc Dadika added 8 points.
The Knights shot 25-62 (40.3%) from the field, 3-14 (21.4%) from the three, and 18-19 (94.7%) from the free-throw line.
The Knights disappointing season continued as they have now fallen to 10 games below .500, and are at the bottom of the NEC standings. This was an unexpected turn of events for the Knights who won the NEC title last year.
The Knights are missing two players who graduated last year — guard Darnell Edge and center Mike Holloway Jr. These two players were essential in the team’s success last year as Edge could seemingly make any three at any time and Holloway Jr. was the big man in the post who could always draw fouls and finish at the basket.
FDU lost one of the best shooters and one of their best centers in school history, and have been unable to fill the void left by them up until this point in the season. The Knights still have a chance to secure a spot in the NEC tournament but as a lower seed.
Senior forward Idris Joyner led the way for the Warriors with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Senior guard Jaleel Lord had 20 points and 7 rebounds. Freshman forward Jordan Minor had 11 points and 8 rebounds. Senior guard Juvaris Hayes chipped in with 8 points and 5 rebounds.
Merrimack shot 24-64 (37.5%) from the field, 10-25 (40%) from three, 16-24 (66.7%) from the free throw line.
Bishop finished with a double-double in the loss. Courtesy of FDU