Dayton, OH—The March Madness excitement has not disappointed in this year’s 1st four on opening day. Heroic performances, late game 3-pointers, and one point nail biters. UD Arena will be rocking with the collision of 16 seeds looking to survive and advance to the next round.
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights is led by superb senior 5’8” point guard Demetre Roberts averaging 16.7 points and 4.3 assists determined to will his team to victory. Texas Southern comes into the game with four players averaging double figures. The well balance attack is designed to keep the opposing teams off balance —scoring from all different angles on the court.
Ansley Almonor poured in 23 points and Fairleigh Dickinson defeated Texas Southern 84-61 Wednesday night to earn its first NCAA Tournament victory in four years.
“Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough to overcome those guys and their 3-point shooting tonight,” Texas Southern coach Johnny Jones said.
The Knights jumped out to a 14-2 run in the opening three minutes of the game applying full court pressure disrupting Texas Southern offensive philosophy causing three early turnovers. The Tigers 6’5” silky smooth sophomore Davon Barnes team leading scorer average 13.6 points & 4.4 rebounds settled his team down by scoring two high level of difficulty shots in a row, narrowing the once double figure lead to 22-15 with 10:59 remaining in the first half.
FDU junior Sean Moore came into the contest averaging 6.6 points per game has already topped his average with 8 points to lead all scorers. Texas Southern turned up the pressure creating three turnovers ignited a 6-0 run to trim the lead to three (26-23). This has become a game of runs as FDU answered the Tigers with a run of their own 10-0 to push the lead back up to double digits (36-23) with 4:27 left in the 1st half. FDU finished the last four minutes of the half on a 19-6 run FDU lead 45- 29 going into the break.
Texas southern continued the 2nd half the same way as the 1st with ice cold shooting from 3-point range going (1-16) 6.3% from behind the arc. FDU smelled blood in the water and applied the full court early in the 2nd half to interrupt their offensive rhythm and was up 50-35 at the 15:32 mark in the half.
FDU’s Joe Munden Jr. kept Texas Southern from making any prolong runs with 17 points. Fairleigh had the lead 62-46 with under 8 minutes remaining in the game. The Knights suffocating defense and their marksmanship from beyond the arc was to much for the Texas Southern Tigers as the Knights cruised the rest of the way.
John Walker III led Texas Southern (14-21) with 22 points. Joirdon Karl Nicholas chipped in 10.
“It’s hard to put it into words, really,” Anderson said. “There’s not something I could say. It’s just been an unbelievable ride. We never would’ve dreamed of this 10 months ago.”