By Anthony Covino
The Knights ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak as they defeated Mount Saint Mary’s 83-77 on Saturday, Feb. 29.
The Knights begin their title defense on March 4 when they go on the road to take on the No. 4- seeded LIU Sharks at 7 p.m.
The Knights final record was 11-18 with a 9-9 record in the NEC, while Mount Saint Mary’s finished 11-20 with a 7-11 record in the NEC.
Redshirt junior guard Xzavier Malone-Key led the Knights with 24 points. Junior guard Jahlil Jenkins had 23 points. Junior forward Elyjah Williams added 15 points and freshman guard Devon Dunn had 11 points. Sophomore guard Brandon Powell had 4 points before going down with an injury in the second half.
FDU shot 27-52 (51.9%) from the field, 10-19 (52.6%) from three, and 19-29 (65.5%) from the free-throw line
Sophomore guard Damian Chong Qui led the Mountaineers with 18 points. Redshirt junior guard Brandon Leftwich had 16 points. Redshirt sophomore forward Nana Opoku and sophomore forward Malik Jefferson had 10 points apiece. Junior guard Jalen Gibbs had 8 points.
Mount Saint Mary’s shot 26-58 (44.8%) from the field, 5-24 (20.8%) from three, and 20-24 (83.3%) from the free-throw line.
The 2020 NEC Tournament is now set as #1 Robert Morris will host #8 Saint Francis Brooklyn, #2 Saint Francis University will host #7 Bryant, #3 Sacred Heart will host #6 Mount Saint Mary’s, and #4 Long Island University will host #5 Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In order for the Knights to make it back to the NCAA Tournament, they will have to win on the road. The Knights struggled away from home this season as they finished 4-13 in total, and 4-5 on the road in conference play.
Kenneth Ramirez Castro
Redshirt junior guard Xzavier Malone-Key led the Knights with 24 points in the season finale.