The NJIT Highlanders followed up their upset win over then-No. 17 Michigan at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor with a 68-66 home win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Every seat at Fleisher Athletic Center, which seats 1,500 compared to the 13,751 capacity at Crisler, was filled, according to the New York Post, and it was the largest crowd to see a game there since the facility was renovated in 2008.
Fans also held fatheads of players Daquan Holiday and Damon Lynn and coach Jim Engles, according to the Post. The crowd then stormed the court after St. Francis missed a three-pointer and were too late on a follow-up attempt, giving NJIT the win.
Engles, who is in his seventh season at the school, took over as coach one year after the Highlanders went 0-29. In his first year as coach, they went 1-30.
"I almost got emotional when I walked into the gym and saw my big face in the stands," he said. "That was better than Crisler Arena. That’s what I want. That's seven years right there."
"That’s building something in the community. The emotion you saw in that gym is true emotion, that’s true joyous emotion."
The win over St. Francis, who were the preseason favorite to win the Northeast Conference, improved NJIT to 4-5 on the season. The Highlanders next play Holy Cross on Friday.
- Phil Watson