(Photo by Jake Peregrin - JSN)

FDU MBB advances to the Northeast Conference Semifinals

The Fairleigh Dickinson Knights men's basketball team (18-14, 10-6 NEC) held off a furious second-half rally by the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (14-16, 7-9 NEC) to prevail 83-75 in the Northeast Conference Tournament Quarterfinals at the Stratis Arena Inside The Rothman Center in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Five Knights players reached double figures in scoring, with Sean Moore and Ansley Almonor leading the way with 18 points apiece, Demetre Roberts and Grant Singleton each contributed 12 points, and Joe Munden Jr. added 10 points.

FDU head coach, Tobin Anderson, on advancing to the victory, stated, "First, a great tournament playoff game, and every time we had a chance to pull away, St. Francis Brooklyn made a big shot and to stay in the game. We also played great in the first and second half and didn't get flustered and hit our free throws down the stretch."

"Every playoff game is going to be a battle and we knew that it would be one heck of a game tonight and credit to our guys of the reaction, adversity, toughness, and togetherness. We're happy we survived and advanced and then to practice again."

"We have been sharing the ball, we're either in the top 50 or 100 in Division I and had 19 assists tonight. We're an unselfish team, good offensive team and have been that way the last couple of weeks."

FDU led 45-30 at halftime with Almonor (11 points, three trifectas) and Moore (10 points) pacing the scoring effort with 21 combined points. The Knights sizzled from behind the arc burying five triples. Furthermore, holding an edge in rebounds, points in the paint, and second-chance points.

In the second half, the Knights held a double-digit most of the time. However, the Terriers responded thanks to shooting effectively from the perimeter at a 50 percent clip while on fire from long-range canning nine treys in the first half to cut into the deficit.

FDU led 73-62 with four and a half minutes remaining, but St. Francis Brooklyn answered with an 11-4 spurt to narrow the gap to four points with less than two minutes left.

With the pressure building, the Knights managed to keep their composure as Roberts knocked down four free throws, coupled with Singleton hitting a pair to seal the win.

FDU MBB On To Semi’s

The Knights square off against third seed Saint Francis University (PA) (13-16, 9-7 NEC) in the semifinal round on Saturday, March 4, with tip-off at 8 p.m. at The Stratis Arena Inside The Rothman Center. The Knights split the series against the Red Flash during the regular season.

"I'm very proud of what we've done, and a great group of guys, and we want to keep winning and two wins away from an NCAA Tournament berth," Anderson explained. "My Dad told me always to get myself in the position, and we must take advantage of that and home against an outstanding team and let's go get it done."

"We had a great turnout from our fans, student section, and community. That's the vision we discussed, and we'll get that on Saturday night."

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