JERSEY CITY, NJ - The Saint Peter's women's basketball team won their first game of the season with a, 64-61, thrilling win over Lafayette in their home opener. Sophomore, Zoe Pero, led the squad with team-highs in scoring (14 points) and rebounding (nine rebounds).
"Collectively we did a good job to win," said head coach Pat Coyle. "We had people step up today. I think we'll have a lot more poise as we move forward, but I think it's a great win for us."
Following Pero was freshman, D'Aviyon Magazine with 12 points. Seniors, Talah Hughes and Sajanna Bethea added 10 points and seven rebounds each while Alyssa Velles tallied three, three-point shots to total nine points.
The Peacocks came out with an early 7-4 lead after a putback layup from Bethea, a jump shot by Hughes, and a three pointer from Velles. Just before the first media timeout, the Peacocks increased their lead to 11-9 with a jump shot from Bethea followed by a jump shot from Pero assisted by Bethea. The Leopards cut the deficit, falling down by one point at 11-10, before taking the one point at 12-11. The Peacocks came back to tie the score, at the end of the first quarter at 12-12 with a free throw from Magazine.
In the second quarter, the Peacocks held the Leopards to two points while Bethea, Hughes and Pero added jump shots, to put the Peacocks back into an 18-14 advantage. The Peacocks reached a double figure lead (24-14) after a six combined point from Sammy Lochner (two points) and freshman starter, Dajiah Martin (four points). Saint Peter's played hard defenses holding the Leopards to four points while gaining nine points, taking a 33-20 lead into the break.
After halftime, the Peacocks continued to dominate the game, extending their lead to 35-20 with a layup from Hughes. The Peacocks allowed the Leopards to go on a 12-0 run, cutting Saint Peter's lead to three points at 35-32. Saint Peter's responded with three consecutive threes, two from Velles and one from Magazine, followed by a jumper from Pero extending their lead over Lafayette back to double digits at 46-32. After three quarters, the Peacocks led Lafayette 46-36.
Magazine opened the fourth quarter with a three-point jump shot adding to the Peacock lead (49-36). The Leopards then managed to cut the 13-point deficit to just one point, trailing Saint Peter's, 49-48. The Peacocks kept their composure as they drew fouls, shooting five for six from the free-throw line, three from Hughes and two from Bethea down the stretch. Lafayette added four points to trail the Peacocks 54-52. Three point shots on both ends were made and the Peacocks led 57-55 just before the media timeout with 3:47 on the clock. Two free throws from Lafayette tied the game at 57-57. The Peacocks gained three points, taking a lead of 60-57 forcing the Leopards into a timeout. Lafayette scored two points after the timeout trailing the Peacocks by one at 60-59 with 51 secs left on the clock. Bethea and Magazine sealed the win for Peacocks adding two points each, leading to the 64-61 victory.
The women's basketball team will travel to New York to play LIU Brooklyn on Tuesday, November 14. The game is scheduled to start at 7pm at the Steinberg Wellness Center.