By Anthony Covino
FDU secured the most important win of this season, defeating Northeast Conference rival Robert Morris 72-71 in a thriller on Saturday. The Knights snapped the Colonials’ six-game streak with this away win.
Bishop muscled the crucial tip-in with less than 2 seconds left to give the Knights the lead.
“We have it on the board for every game — ‘every second of every possession for 40 minutes’ — and Kaleb took that literally today,” FDU head coach Greg Herenda said in post-game notes. “I told him before the game that this was going to be a senior game and he made the big play. That was just a very gutty victory against a very good Robert Morris team in a beautiful building.”
Morris head coach Andrew Toole credited Bishop.
“(He) jumped over three people and made the aggressive play,” Toole said in the post-game TV interview.
The final seconds were not without controversy. On the inbound play after Bishop’s basket, Bishop, guarding the entry pass, barreled into a stationary Josh Williams of RMU as the pass inbounds came and a halfcourt shot bricked off the top of the RMU basket. Toole protested the no-call, following the referees exiting the floor.
FDU improved to 8-16 with a 6-7 record in the NEC, while Robert Morris fell to 15-12, 11-3 NEC. The teams will meet again Sunday in Hackensack as FDU tries to lock in a tourney berth in defense of its NEC championship
Junior guard Jahlil Jenkins led FDU with 21 points. Junior forward Elyjah Williams had 14 points. Redshirt junior guard Xzavier Malone-Key had a bounce-back game with 12 points and senior forward Bishop added 11.
The Colonials were led by junior guard/forward AJ Bramah with 17 points. Junior forward Charles Bain and senior forward Yannis Mendy added 10 points each. FDU held redshirt senior guard Josh Williams to 8 points
This was a much-needed win against one of the best teams in the conference. This was FDU’s first time playing Robert Morris this year and it lived up to be an entertaining game until the very end. The Knights have beaten RMU three straight games, dating to last year.
The Knights will look to extend their winning streak to three when they travel to play Central Connecticut State on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. live on ESPN3. The Colonials will travel to Saint Francis University on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.
The Equinox Staff