JERSEY CITY, NJ – The Saint Peter's men's basketball team needed overtime to edge St. Francis Brooklyn, 71-68, on Saturday afternoon in the Yanitelli Center to close out non-conference play. The Peacocks finished the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 6-5 overall record and the win over the Terriers made the Peacocks a perfect 4-0 against the Northeast Conference (NEC) during non-conference play after the Peacocks had already earned wins over Fairleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart, and LIU Brooklyn. Saint Peter's men's basketball also posted a perfect 3-0 non-conference record at the Yanitelli Center for the first time under head coach John Dunne, matching the 2005-06 Peacock squad which also went 3-0 at home in non-conference action.
Samuel Idowu (Brooklyn, NY/Lafayette Educational Complex) scored a career-high 20 points and matched his career-best of eight rebounds to lead the Peacocks in both categories. Nick Griffin (Rockville, MD/George Washington/Col. Zadok Magruder) scored 16 points in 40 minutes of action and Davauhnte Turner (Simsboro, LA/Independence CC/Gambling HS) followed with 11 points, giving him double-digit points for the sixth consecutive game.
Rasheen Dunn led the way for St. Francis Brooklyn (3-8) with a game-high 25 points and Glenn Sanabria added 17 points in the backcourt with Dunn.
St. Francis Brooklyn opened the game on a 15-4 run, putting the Terriers ahead of the Peacocks by what ended up being their largest lead of the day at the 12:01 mark. After the under 12-minute media break, Elijah Gonzales (Portland, OR/Clackamas) drained a three-pointer, which was the first Peacock field goal since the opening possession. The basket would stop the Peacock drought and spark a 14-3 Saint Peter's run. Following Gonzales' jumper, Idowu scored on back to back layups, cutting the deficit to 16-11. Then, Quinn Taylor (Amarillo, TX/Tascosa) dropped in a layup which cut the score to 16-13, followed by a Julian Powell (Baytown, TX/Lee College/Goose Creek Memorial) layup and a three-pointer by Griffin, that tied the game at 18-18. The Peacocks took their first lead of the day and extended the run to 17-3, following three made free throws by Cameron Jones (Fairless Hills, PA/Pennsbury), making Saint Peter's lead 21-18 with 3:33 left before the half. St. Francis Brooklyn tied up the game at 21, but the Peacocks answered with layups by Taylor and Mamadou Ndiaye (Laurel, MD/Oakland Mills) taking a 25-22 score into the locker room. Saint Peter's outscored St. Francis Brooklyn, 21-7, after the second media break of the half.
Out of the break, the Peacock's lead grew to 35-28, spearheaded by Turner who scored seven of the 10 Saint Peter's points on two layups and three. The Peacocks advantage got to its largest of the day at 10, after Taylor forced a steal and hit a jumper in transition to extend the lead to 41-31. Over the next three minutes, Saint Peter's went on a drought that allowed the Terriers to go on an 11-0 run, putting St. Francis ahead 42-41 with the game clock at 9:16. The lead changed hands six more times and the game would tie on four occasions over the next six minutes before the Peacocks took a 55-54 lead with 2:47 remaining. With 1:21 left in the game, Griffin hit an old fashion three-point play that extended Saint Peter's lead to six points at 60-54. On the ensuing possession, St. Francis Brooklyn hit a three, that cut the Peacock lead to three points, with one minute left. An intentional foul on Idowu, put him at the line where he knocked in the first but missed the second making the lead 61-57 with 48 ticks on the clock. The Terriers again responded with three-pointer, this time making it a one point game with 15 seconds left. A foul put Griffin at the charity stripe, where he made the front end of two free throws, but missed the second. With only 3.6 seconds remaining, Taylor fouled St. Francis Brooklyn's Jagos Lasic, who made two free throws, knotting the game at 62 all. With time expiring, Turner heaved up a half court three that didn't get out of his hands in time, sending game into overtime.
In overtime, the Terriers went up 68-64, with two minutes left. Nnamdi Enechionyia (Springfield, VA/Samford/St. James School) hit one of two free throws, followed by a Griffin layup which put Saint Peter's down by one (68-67) with 1:15 on the clock. An offensive foul by the Terriers leading scorer, Dunn, led to a made Idowu layup on a feed from Griffin, giving the Peacocks a 69-68 lead with 39 seconds left on the ensuing possession. St. Francis Brooklyn missed two shot attempts and the Peacocks gained the possession after a tie up which forced a jump ball with only 11 seconds to go. Griffin was fouled and he hit both free throws giving the Peacocks a 71-68 lead with seven second left. St. Francis Brooklyn's game-tying three-point attempt barely grazed the rim and the Peacocks held on for the close win.
Saint Peter's recorded season-highs of 23 made free throws and 33 attempted free throws in the game. Idowu knocked in 10 of his 13 free throw attempts, setting another personal best for him in the game and making him the first Peacock this season to make 10 shots from the charity stripe. Saint Peter's record in overtime this season improved to 1-1, after falling to Elon in double overtime earlier in the month.
The Peacocks will begin Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play on Thursday, December 28 at Fairfield University. Tip-off in the conference opener is set for 7pm.