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Fairleigh Dickinson rallies for first ever NCAA tourney win

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) Eleven months ago, Fairleigh Dickinson coach Greg Herenda was seriously ill with life-threatening blood clots. On Tuesday night, he danced on the court and hugged his players after they secured the first NCAA Tournament win in school history.

Senior guard Darnell Edge scored a career-high 33 points and Jahlil Jenkins had 20 of his 22 points in the second half as the Knights capped a furious comeback by taking down Prairie View A&M 82-76 in a First Four game on Tuesday night.

''It's overwhelming,'' said Herenda, in his sixth season at the Hackensack, New Jersey, school. ''When you coach for 35 years and you take a team to an NCAA Tournament and a team that, when I got here six years ago, we had nothing. And to build it, and then it's here, and it's so sad that every coach can't experience this.''

Fairleigh Dickinson (21-13), which got the automatic tournament bid by winning the Northeast Conference Tournament, won its first NCAA tourney game in six tries. The Knights move on to play Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in West Region, on Thursday in Salt Lake City.

Prairie View (22-13), also seeking its first tournament win, built up 13-point leads in both halves, but Fairleigh Dickinson took control in the second half behind the shooting of Edge and Jenkins.

''Jahlil Jenkins has the biggest heart in Ohio right now,'' Herenda said. ''As a sophomore, he took over the game in the second half.''

A 3-pointer by Gary Blackston pulled Prairie View back to within two points, 78-76, but a layup from Mike Holloway Jr. and a pair of free throws by Edge with 17 seconds left sealed it for Fairleigh Dickinson.

Blackston led the Panthers with 26 points and Devonte Patterson had 17.

''Having coach go through that last year, I remember us being in practice and him always just telling us that he just wanted to be there with us,'' Edge said. ''All he thought about while he was in the hospital was us. So we rallied together, and it's just a great win for us, for our program.''

BAD START, GREAT FINISH

Prairie View threatened to run away with it early, ripping off a 14-0 first-half run as Fairleigh Dickinson committed nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes to fall into a 19-6 hole. The Knights chipped away, with Edge hitting a 3-pointer and a layup in the last minute of the half to reduce the deficit to 41-34 at the intermission.

The Knights went down by 13 again early in the second, but methodically came back.

''Could have gone either way, but I guess the best team made plays late and they were able to win the game,'' Prairie View coach Byron Smith said.

SWEET REDEMPTION

Fairleigh Dickinson returned to the First Four three years after their first trip to Dayton. It didn't go well that time.

The Knights were beaten by Florida Gulf Coast by 31 points.

''It was just a great feeling for me, being here three years ago and losing by over 30 points and then coming back this year and being able to get a win,'' Edge said. ''It's a great feeling. It's history.''

BIG PICTURE

Fairleigh Dickinson: The Knights earned their first tournament win by staging a furious comeback and holding off Prairie View down the stretch.

Prairie View: The Panthers' only previous tournament appearance was 21 years ago. They had high hopes after winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season and tournament, going 21-2 to finish the season.

UP NEXT

Fairleigh Dickinson: Enters the main NCAA bracket as the No. 16 seed in the West Region and plays Gonzaga on Thursday.

Prairie View: Season ends.

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Key Players
J. Jenkins
3 G
G. Blackston
3 G
31.2 Min. Per Game 31.2
15.2 Pts. Per Game 15.2
1.8 Ast. Per Game 1.8
7.0 Reb. Per Game 7.0
43.5 Field Goal % 42.9
33.6 Three Point % 34.3
87.7 Free Throw % 65.6
  Defensive rebound by Kaleb Bishop 10.0
  Gary Blackston missed driving layup 12.0
+ 1 Darnell Edge made 2nd of 2 free throws 18.0
+ 1 Darnell Edge made 1st of 2 free throws 19.0
  Personal foul on Gerard Andrus 19.0
  Defensive rebound by Mike Holloway Jr. 19.0
  Gary Blackston missed 3-pt. jump shot 21.0
+ 2 Mike Holloway Jr. made layup, assist by Elyjah Williams 27.0
+ 3 Gary Blackston made 3-pt. jump shot 51.0
  Defensive rebound by Devonte Patterson 57.0
  Kaleb Bishop missed 2nd of 2 free throws 57.0
Team Stats
Points 82 76
Field Goals 30-55 (54.5%) 28-64 (43.8%)
3-Pointers 9-21 (42.9%) 15-28 (53.6%)
Free Throws 13-19 (68.4%) 5-7 (71.4%)
Total Rebounds 40 27
Offensive 12 8
Defensive 27 15
Team 1 4
Assists 12 17
Steals 1 9
Blocks 8 1
Turnovers 16 11
Fouls 10 19
Technicals 0 0
33 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST
26 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo 16 F. Dickinson 21-13 344882
home team logo 16 Prairie View 22-13 413576
Team Stats
away team logo 16 F. Dickinson 21-13 74.9 PPG 36.4 RPG 13.9 APG
home team logo 16 Prairie View 22-13 75.1 PPG 36.4 RPG 12.7 APG
Key Players
1
D. Edge G 16.6 PPG 3.5 RPG 2.4 APG 47.3 FG%
3
G. Blackston G 15.6 PPG 7.0 RPG 1.9 APG 42.9 FG%
Top Scorers
D. Edge G 33 PTS 2 REB 2 AST
G. Blackston G 26 PTS 5 REB 3 AST
54.5 FG% 43.8
42.9 3PT FG% 53.6
68.4 FT% 71.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Edge 33 2 2 9/13 7/9 8/8 1 40 1 0 2 1 1
J. Jenkins 22 4 6 9/16 1/5 3/3 0 40 0 0 2 0 4
M. Holloway Jr. 10 14 0 5/11 0/0 0/3 2 36 0 4 5 5 9
K. Bishop 10 11 0 4/8 0/4 2/4 3 40 0 2 3 5 6
E. Williams 7 8 4 3/4 1/2 0/1 2 30 0 2 3 1 7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Edge 33 2 2 9/13 7/9 8/8 1 40 1 0 2 1 1
J. Jenkins 22 4 6 9/16 1/5 3/3 0 40 0 0 2 0 4
M. Holloway Jr. 10 14 0 5/11 0/0 0/3 2 36 0 4 5 5 9
K. Bishop 10 11 0 4/8 0/4 2/4 3 40 0 2 3 5 6
E. Williams 7 8 4 3/4 1/2 0/1 2 30 0 2 3 1 7
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. McNamara - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Jones 0 0 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0
B. Powell 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 7 0 0 1 0 0
B. Saliba Jr. 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
N. Beciri - - - - - - - - - - - - -
X. Malone-Key - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Okeke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dadika - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 82 39 12 30/55 9/21 13/19 10 200 1 8 16 12 27
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Blackston 26 5 3 9/20 6/11 2/2 3 32 0 0 1 0 5
D. Patterson 17 8 2 7/14 3/7 0/1 3 39 1 0 5 4 4
G. Andrus 8 5 0 4/11 0/0 0/0 2 30 5 0 1 2 3
D. Jones 6 1 7 2/7 0/1 2/3 4 35 0 0 3 1 0
I. Ellis 0 3 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 13 1 1 0 0 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Blackston 26 5 3 9/20 6/11 2/2 3 32 0 0 1 0 5
D. Patterson 17 8 2 7/14 3/7 0/1 3 39 1 0 5 4 4
G. Andrus 8 5 0 4/11 0/0 0/0 2 30 5 0 1 2 3
D. Jones 6 1 7 2/7 0/1 2/3 4 35 0 0 3 1 0
I. Ellis 0 3 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 13 1 1 0 0 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Ellis 12 0 1 4/6 4/6 0/0 0 21 0 0 0 0 0
T. Johnson 3 0 2 1/2 1/1 0/0 2 11 0 0 0 0 0
A. Lister 3 0 0 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 9 1 0 1 0 0
D. Williams 1 1 1 0/1 0/0 1/1 2 10 1 0 0 1 0
T. Singleton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hood - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Holifield - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Sneed - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Wallace - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 76 23 17 28/64 15/28 5/7 19 200 9 1 11 8 15