Career night from Griffin paces Saint Peter’s

Quadir Welton (35) posted a 20-point game for the second straight outing. (Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Quadir Welton (35) posted a 20-point game for the second straight outing. (Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

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BRONX, NY – Nick Griffin (Rockville, MD/Col. Zadok Magruder (George Washington)) and Samuel Idowu (Brooklyn, NY/Lafayette Educational Complex) both posted career-highs off the Saint Peter’s bench in scoring as Griffin poured in 21 points and Idowu dropped 13 for the Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team in a, 90-77 win over Lipscomb on the first night of the Johnny Bach Classic. Senior forward Quadir Welton (Philadelphia, PA/Math, Civics and Science Charter) posted back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career with his game-high 23 points (just one point shy of his career-best 24) and he added 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Welton also made a career-best 11 free throws in the game.

“We have a team that if we share the ball and we play team basketball and try to get a hockey assist and not just a great play or try to hunt down a shot our self, then I really think we’re going to have a chance to score the ball well throughout the course of the year,” said head coach John Dunne. “It’s just going to be what our mindset is because we certainly have enough skill this year to do that.”

The Peacock’s bench was the difference in the first half, led by Griffin and Idowu, as the Peacock bench outscored Lipscomb as a team, 30-28. Griffin shot 6-for-8 from the field including going 5-for-6 from behind the arc for a game-high 18-point total. In addition to Griffin’s 18, Idowu added eight points of his own on two made three-pointers in eight minutes of action off the bench. The Peacocks opened up the game with a 5-0 run, with Welton scoring all five points. Lipscomb kept it close throughout but the Peacocks never lost the lead in the half. At the 5:29 mark, the momentum built for the squad when they took a nine point advantage after securing three offensive rebounds from Welton, Quinn, and Welton again in one possession before Welton put in a hook shot off the bank, to extend the lead to 30-21. Another three by Griffin on a dime from Trevis Wyche (Neptune, NJ/Saint Peter’s Prep) extended the Peacock lead to 33-22, giving the team its first double-figure lead in the game. The Peacocks closed out the first 20 with its largest lead of the night at 15 points (43-28).

Welton opened up the second half similar to the first, as he knocked in the Peacocks first four points, and six of the team’s first nine. The Peacocks kept their foots on the accelerator, extending its lead to 20 points on Welton’s third bucket of the half making the game 52-32. The Peacock lead would get as large as 24 points (58-34) with just under 15 minutes to play in the game. Lipscomb didn’t go away quietly, as they cut the Peacock lead to single digits with just over nine minutes left, but the Peacocks weren’t going to allow the Bisons to pull off the comeback. After Lipscomb got to within fives points, Wyche took his man to the rim on two straight plays for easy layups and Griffin added another three to his already-career high, to push the lead back up to double-digits at, 74-62, with 5:37 left. The Peacocks allowed the Bisons to only get as close as seven points again as the team sealed the deal, closing out the game hitting 12 out of 14 free throws to preserve the victory.

“We kind of had the deer in the headlights panic the last time around, but this time around Trevis came up with a couple of big buckets and then he got the offensive rebound strip and then got the assists to Sam,” added Dunne. “But we made plays when we had to, especially with Quadir on the bench. We were really disappointed with ourselves from the first game being up 10 with 3:50 to go and we gave them (Lipscomb) a lot of life in the second half but I am just glad we responded well.”

Griffin (21), Idowu (13), Welton (23), and Wyche (13) all scored in double figures. Chazz Patterson (Browns Mills, NJ/Trenton Catholic) and Antwon Portley (Lancaster, TX/Lancaster) each added six points, while Nnamdi Enechionyia (Springfield, VA/St. James School (Samford)) contributed four points. Cavon Baker (Queens, NY/New Hope Academy [Md.] (Houston)) scored two points and Quinn Taylor (Amarillo, TX/Tascosa High School) recorded his first collegiate points with his two points.

With the win, the Peacocks improve to 1-1 on the season. The Johnny Bach Classic continues tomorrow with the Peacocks taking on tournament host, Fordham at 3:00pm. The team then closes out the tournament on Sunday against Fairleigh Dickinson at 1:00pm.

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