RIVERDALE, NY - The Saint Peter's women's basketball team dropped their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opener to Manhattan College, 76-64 on Thursday night. Power forward, Sajanna Bethea led the Peacocks with 20 points.
"We played well in spurts tonight," said head coach Pat Coyle. "We shot well from the field, however, our turnovers really hurt us tonight. It's something that we will be addressing tomorrow in practice."
The Peacocks trailed the Jaspers 10-7, as Bethea scored the first four points followed by a three point shot from Hughes. Saint Peter's added four more points with two free throws from Bethea and Hughes with a short jumper while the Jaspers gained six points to add to their lead, making the game 16-11 at the end of one period.
In the second quarter, the Jaspers continued to lead the Peacocks, 22-14 with 7:12 on the clock. Manhattan the lead to 30-17, outscoring Saint Peter's 8-3. Following the 13-point deficit, the Peacocks went on a 10-2 run sparked by Velles' back to back threes and jumpers from Bethea and Sam Meier which cut the deficit to 32-27. Manhattan posted four more points, finishing the half in the lead 36-27.
After the break, the Peacocks fell behind, 40-32, but continued to play hard, cutting the eight point deficit to three points. Team efforts from Bethea and Velles adding three points each, a jumper from Hughes and a free throw from Lochner made the game 44-41. Manhattan pulled away after five straight points and later going up by 10 points 56-46. The scored remained at 10 points ending the third quarter, sitting at 59-49.
In the fourth quarter, Manhattan kept the double-figure lead, extending the score to 65-55, then pushing it to 12 points at 69-57. A three-pointer from Velles got the Peacocks back to within single-digits at, 71-62, but the Jaspers held on to win the game by the final score of 76-64.
Saint Peter's will return home on January 2, to host hOURglass Rival, Rider University. The game is scheduled to start at 7 pm.