ROSEMONT, IL – Four Peacocks scored in double figures on Monday night against No. 19/20 Northwestern in the second campus round game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. Graduate, Nick Griffin (Rockville, MD/George Washington/Col. Zadok Magruder) scored a game-high 19 points, Samuel Idowu (Brooklyn, NY/Lafayette Educational Complex) and Cameron Jones (Fairless Hills, PA/Pennsbury) scored 14 points each, and Quinn Taylor (Amarillo, TX/Tascosa) added 10 points in the, 75-66, defeat.
"We only had 10 turnovers tonight, so I am really happy that we were low turnover against a really good, solid defensive team," said head coach John Dunne. "I thought that we got a lot of good looks, but I thought we were a little nervous to start the game unfortunately, but once we settled into the game we gained confidence and we executed. I am proud of my team for sure."
Northwestern went up on the Peacocks 11-3 early, taking the lead into the first media break. After the break, the Peacocks went on a 14-4 run, taking their first lead of the night at 17-15. The run began when Griffin drove baseline and hit a layup as the shot clock expired making it an 11-5 game, and giving him all five Peacock points. Off of the bench, Jones made a layup, cutting the deficit to 11-7 and Davauhnte Turner (Simsboro, LA/Independence CC/Gambling HS) hit a floater to make it a 13-9 contest. On the ensuing possession, Jeremiah Livingston (Stamford, CT/Odessa College/Westhill) forced a turnover on a steal, leading to a transition three-point basket by Taylor, making the game to a one-point contest (13-12). After Northwestern added a basket, Idowu drained a deep three to tie the game at 15-15. Saint Peter's took the first lead of the night on a layup by Jones after a backdoor cut pass from Taylor, giving the Peacocks a 17-15 lead. After taking the lead, Northwestern put together a 7-0 run, giving them a 22-17 advantage. Jones scored the next five Peacock points behind an up and under layup and a three-point field goal, bringing the game back to within two points at 24-22. Before the break, Northwestern went up 30-22, but Turner drained a three with one minute remaining before the intermission and Northwestern hit a jumper with a couple of seconds on the clock to take a 32-25 score into the break.
Northwestern came out of the locker room on fire, hitting three straight three-pointers, extending the lead over the Peacocks to double-digits at 41-27 to open the half. The Peacocks pulled to within 11 points twice, first when Griffin hit a trifecta to stop the Northwestern run (41-30) and again when Taylor hit a corner three after steal by Jones (45-34). Northwestern scored the next six points to go back up 51-34. Over the next five minutes, the Peacocks outscored Northwestern 13-6, powered by four points each from Griffin and Idowu, and the team cut the deficit back to 10-points after Jones drained a wide open transition three, making the score 57-47. The game grew to a 63-51 score with every point coming from the charity stripe during the stretch, but then Idowu hit a huge near corner three, to get the Peacocks back to within single-digits at 63-54. The free-throw fest continued as Saint Peter's and Northwestern exchanged free-throws until the score became 67-59 with 3:09 remaining. After the Peacocks held Northwestern without a field goal for a little over five minutes, the Wildcats hit a jumper from just outside the free throw line to regain a 10-point edge (69-59), but the Peacocks answered with a backdoor cut and made layup by Griffin on a delivery from Taylor with 2:39 left. Over the final two minutes, the Peacocks were outscored 6-5, resulting in the final score of 75-66.
"We were hoping to steal one of these first two games in the tournament but we knew it was going to be hard playing against two experienced teams since we're kind of inexperienced," added Dunne. "But we got a lot better in these two games and that is hopefully going to bode well for us this weekend."
The Peacocks will travel to Uncasville, CT for the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament semifinals at Mohegan Sun on Saturday, November 18. The Peacocks will be in the Springfield Bracket and they will face Sacred Heart on Saturday at 7:30pm. On Sunday, November 19, the Peacocks will face either South Alabama or Maine in the championship game or consolation game with the tip time to be determined.