By Jen Malti
The men’s basketball team faced first place Wagner on Thursday, Feb. 24 where they beat the Seahawks in overtime 88-86 on the CBS Sports Network.
The night started off emotional with senior Sal Xheraj getting his first career start on Senior Night.
“It felt like a dream come true. Having my family walk out with me on the court was a pinnacle moment, being that they have always supported me through each and every step of my journey. During the game, I put forth my best effort within those few minutes Coach Herenda blessed me with, coming up with a steal on the defensive end that resulted in two points from one of our best players, Brandon Rush. I’m overjoyed that I was able to assist my team, but more importantly, a team and a head coach that have never failed to believe in me. Being carried off the court and then celebrating the victory with my brothers in the locker room felt like a scene straight out of a movie. This was truly a night that I will never forget and will cherish evermore,” Xheraj said via Snapchat direct message.
Xheraj started his Knights career as the school mascot, Knightro, and eventually moved his way up to becoming manager of the team. In his junior year, he walked onto the team.
Brandon Rush led the Knights with a career-best 36 points and got FDU on the board first within the first few minutes of the game.
Anquan Hill also helped contribute to the Knights win with 14 points while Devon Dunn and Ansley Almonor each had nine points.
The Rothman’s energy was electric as it came down to the final minutes of overtime as the Knights kept Wagner scoreless in the final 1:51 of the game, eventually leading to the Knights’ win.
The Knights will look to advance themselves in the NEC tournament as they face Central Connecticut State on Monday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
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Sal celebrates Senior Night with his family and FDU athletics.
Photo from Sal Xheraj