Feb. 23, 2005
HACKENSACK, NJ - Junior guard Chad Timberlake (Brooklyn, NY) scored a game-high 19 points and junior forward Gordon Klaiber (Greenbelt, MD) added 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Fairleigh Dickinson past Central Connecticut State 63-58, and move the Knights back into a first place tie with Monmouth in the NEC standings. The Knights are now 16-11 overall and 12-4 in league play. The win also secures at least the number two seed in next week's NEC Tournament. Central Connecticut drops to 11-14 overall and 7-9 in NEC action to remain in eighth place.
The Blue Devils took a 14-4 lead with 13:23 left in the first half after a three-pointer by Javier Mojica (Auburn, MA), but then went more than eight minutes without scoring a point as the Knights climbed back into the game and eventually took an 18-17 lead with 3:23 left in the half. The 14-3 run spanned 12:09 on the clock as the Knights hit a trio of three-pointers and got six points from Timberlake in the spurt.
The Blue Devils responded with four of the next six points to take a 23-20 lead with 1:22 left. Following a jumper by Timberlake and a three-pointer from Mensah Peterson (No. Brunswick, NJ) for the Knights, sophomore DeMario Anderson (Ft. Washington, MD) hit a jumper for Central Connecticut with under a second to play to tie the game at 25 at the break.
Neither team shot well in the half, the Blue Devils hit only 10-of-35 attempts while the Knights hit on 10-of-27. The Blue Devils outrebounded the Knights 30-13 in the period including six by Rich Pittman (Boston, MA) and five by Obie Nwadike (Jersey City, NJ).
In the second half, the Knights took a 34-29 lead on another three-pointer by Peterson before the Blue Devils responded with a small 12-7 run to tie the game at 41-41 with 9:59 left to play in the half. The Knights upped their lead to six at 49-43 on a Klaiber jumper, but the Blue Devils scored eight of the next 10 points capped by an Anderson three and a pair of Nwadike free-throws to tie the game at 51 with 3:10 to go in the half.
The Knights scored five straight points including a three-point play by Klaiber to up the lead to 56-51 with 1:51 to go. A Pittman lay-up with :36 left cut the lead to 56-53. Peterson hit a pair of free-throws to increase the lead to 58-53. The Knights went 9-of-10 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes of the game to secure the five-point victory.
The Blue Devils out-rebounded the Knights 49-30 in the loss, but FDU held Central Connecticut to just 32.8 percent from the field and forced the Blue Devils into 18 turnovers. The Knights shot 40.4 percent from the floor for the game, hitting 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from long range and converting 14-of-18 (77.8 percent) at the charity stripe, while giving the ball up only 12 times and posting 10 blocked shots to tie a season-high.
Timberlake led four Knights in double-digits by hitting 7-of-9 from the field, including both of his three-point attempts, and blocked three shots. Klaiber converted 6-of-15 from the floor and blocked four shots. Senior guard Tamien Trent (Moriches, NY) chipped in 13 points and Peterson added 10.
The Blue Devils were led by Pittman who had 14 points and eight rebounds. Nwadike posted his second straight double-double with 11 points and tied his career-high with 11 rebounds. It was his seventh double-double of the season. Freshman Tristan Blackwood (Toronto, Ontario) added 10 points for the Blue Devils and Anderson finished with nine points and seven boards.
The Knights will return to action on Friday, February 25, when they host Quinnipiac at 7:00 p.m.