Darnell Edge scored a career-high 33 points as Fairleigh Dickinson rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to post an 82-76 victory over Prairie View A&M on Tuesday in the NCAA Tournament West Region play-in game at Dayton, Ohio.
Fellow guard Jahlil Jenkins scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half as the 16th-seeded Knights (21-13) recorded their first NCAA Tournament victory in the program's history. Northeast Conference champion Fairleigh Dickinson will face No. 1 seed Gonzaga (30-3) on Thursday in Salt Lake City.
Mike Holloway Jr. collected 10 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and Kaleb Bishop added 10 points and 11 boards as the Knights won their ninth straight game.
Gary Blackston scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half for Southwest Athletic Conference champion Prairie View A&M (22-13), which saw its 11-game winning streak halted and lost for just the second time in 23 contests since the calendar flipped to 2019.
Devonte Patterson scored 17 points for a Panthers program playing in just its second NCAA Tournament berth and first since 1998.
Jenkins capped a sizzling 8 of 9 stretch from the field with a 3-pointer to give Fairleigh Dickinson a 68-66 lead with 4:28 remaining in the second half. Holloway scored from inside, and Edge drained a 3-pointer with three minutes to go as the Knights completed a 10-0 run to give the team its largest advantage of the game with a 73-66 lead.
Blackston followed a 3-pointer and subsequent foul shot with another 3-pointer to bring Prairie View A&M within two at 78-76 with 51 seconds remaining.
Holloway answered by making a quick layup, and Edge ended his perfect night at the free-throw line (8 for 8) with a pair of shots to seal the win.
The Panthers made 8 of 12 shots from 3-point range to claim a 41-34 advantage at intermission. They weren't shy to begin the second half as Patterson and Blackston converted from long range on consecutive possessions to push the lead to 13 just 1:23 into the second half.
Jenkins scored 13 points as Fairleigh Dickinson went on a 25-12 run before Holloway's second effort from in close gave the Knights the advantage at 61-59 with 6:47 remaining in the second half. The lead was Fairleigh Dickinson's first since 6-5 early in the first half.
Prairie View A&M connected on five of its first six 3-point attempts, with Chancellor Ellis draining a pair as the club scored 14 consecutive points to post a 19-6 lead midway into the first half. Fairleigh Dickinson committed nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes, leading to 14 points by the Panthers.
--Field Level Media