BYU’s Seneca Knight Delivers Game-Winner After Experiencing Tragedy

Feb 11, 2022, 1:58 AM | Updated: 2:00 am
Seneca Knight - BYU Basketball...
Brigham Young Cougars forward Seneca Knight (24) hits a 3-pointer in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball forward Seneca Knight delivered a much-needed victory for the Cougars against Loyola Marymount on Thursday night.

The game-winning free throw Knight knocked down in overtime with one second remaining ended a four-game losing streak for the Cougars and kept BYU’s NCAA Tournament at-large hopes alive. But away from the court, it meant so much more.

After the conclusion of BYU’s first win in 19 days, BYU coach Mark Pope spoke with the media in the postgame and revealed that Knight, a former transfer from San Jose State and LSU, was playing against LMU with a heavy heart.

Tragedy struck a close family friend of Seneca Knight

Pope said Knight “had a really awful, personal, close family friend tragedy” on Wednesday. The third-year head coach didn’t get into the details of the tragedy, but it was an emotional ordeal for Knight, who, amid the emotional trials off the court, made a return back to the starting lineup for BYU against LMU.

“Right before we jumped on the plane [to Los Angeles], he was absolutely distraught and just super barred,” Pope said.

Pope continued, “This game, man, is a beautiful thing. Like, the karma of this game is just unreal; there are no words for it. And so, the fact that he got to go represent the people that he loves and represent this team with a free throw with no time on the clock to win it is pretty awesome.”

BYU teammates show support for Knight

Knight, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is roommates with Milwaukee transfer guard Te’Jon Lucas, who, after a game away due to a head injury, made his return to starting lineup as well against LMU. Lucas was proud of his teammate and roommate for delivering a big shot at that moment.

“It just shows, you know, the work he has put in and the dedication to this team and the hard work,” Lucas said. “Sen’s battled some things personally, you know, he just had our back as a team. We’ve been having his back while he’s been battling some things. So you know, I’m just super proud of him. That’s my roommate, that’s like my brother, so I’m super proud of him and I’m super proud he was able to knock it down.”

Knight and the 18-8 BYU basketball team return to action on Saturday against Pepperdine in Malibu at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper. 

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