Longwood Picks Up Victory Against Fairleigh Dickinson in JK54 Classic

Published 4:19 am Sunday, November 20, 2022

The JK54 Classic is well underway in Farmville, as Longwood defeated Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday. The Lancers won by a score of 99-83 in game three of the classic from Willett Hall. The win marks Longwood’s third consecutive victory and third straight game scoring 90+ points.

Walyn Napper led the Lancers in scoring with 19 points and six assists on an efficient 8/11 from the field. Longwood made sure to get everyone involved offensively, as six different Lancers posted double-digit scoring figures.

“We really handled the ball well…[having] only six turnovers tonight was really a key for us,” said head coach Griff Aldrich on Longwood’s efficient night. “DA Houston, Walyn Napper, DeShaun Wade and Isaiah Wilkins really did an exceptional job of handling the ball. I think that gave us opportunities to get into scoring position, and we were able to capitalize.”

The final possession

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Leslie Nkereuwem was a force down low for Longwood, scoring 17 points on a multitude of dunks. The Lancers took great care of the ball, turning the ball over only six times while shooting an impressive 69.8% from the field.

The first possession of the game got the Lancer faithful on their feet, as DA Houston found Leslie Nkereuwem inside for an electrifying jam. Longwood opened the game on a 12-4 run, going five for five from the field in the process. Despite a hot start for the Lancers and a raucous Willett Hall crowd, the Knights stayed composed and kept the game within single digits for the majority of the first half. However, Longwood’s efficiency kept them ahead, riding a 69.2% field goal percentage to a 47-37 halftime lead.

Fairleigh Dickinson kept themselves afloat in the first, but became the more aggressive team to open the second. The Knights brought their deficit to within three points, but ultimately never gained the lead, as the Lancers offensive prowess was too much to overcome.

“I didn’t think our [defensive] approach was our standard for the first 25-30 minutes of the game,” said Aldrich on his team’s defense. “After they cut it to a three point game, the guys really came together and dug in on the defensive end and started to get a lot more stops, which in turn led to transition opportunities on the other end and easy buckets.”

Grant Singleton was the leading scorer for Fairleigh Dickinson, posting 24 points on an 8/14 shooting mark.

Longwood advances to JK54 Classic finale

“We’ve got to fight to be crisp mentally and give the best effort that we have,” said Aldrich on the team’s upcoming tilt against SIUE, their third game in as many days. “These guys have been practicing since the beginning of September and summer workouts…I think they’re hungry to play.”

The Lancers will play their final game of the JK54 Classic tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. against SIUE, immediately followed by VMI vs. Fairleigh Dickinson. The game will be aired on ESPN+ and on WVHL 92.9 Kickin’ Country.