Saint Peter’s falls to Houston Baptist in non-conference action

Dec 19, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; St. Peter's Peacocks guard Antwon Portley (13) shoots against the George Washington Colonials during the second half at Charles E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Antwon Portley (13) scored a team-high 10 points (Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

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HOUSTON, TX – Texas native, Antwon Portley (Lancaster, TX/Lancaster) scored a team-high 10 points for the Peacocks in a Wednesday night non-conference meeting with Houston Baptist. The Peacocks fell to the Huskies, 62-47 and drop to 4-4 overall on the season.

“We started off well offensively so I didn’t think that we were going to be kind of jet lag, but they (Houston Baptist) played with a lot of energy and that is a pretty good team,” said head coach John Dunne. “It was hard to gauge just how good they were because they had played four higher level teams and then a couple of division III teams, so we knew it was going to be a hard fought game.”

After giving up the first bucket of the game, the Peacocks reeled off the next eight straight points on 3-of-4 shooting with baskets by Trevis Wyche (Neptune, NJ/Saint Peter’s Prep), Chazz Patterson (Browns Mills, NJ/Trenton Catholic), and Quadir Welton (Philadelphia, PA/Math, Civics and Science Charter) to take an 8-2, lead into the first media timeout. After a couple of baskets by the Huskies, Nick Griffin (Rockville, MD/Col. Zadok Magruder (George Washington)), as he has done so all season, came off the bench to hit five quick points from a deep two and a three from the far corner to push the Peacock lead up to 15-6. After Griffins made three, Houston Baptist used a 12-2 run to take its first lead of the night at 18-17 with 6:36 left in the half. From that point on, the teams exchanged leads three times (19-18, 20-19, and 22-20) before taking a knotted up, 22-22, game into the break. Both teams shot an identical 33.3 percent (9-27) from the field in the first half. Griffin, Samuel Idowu (Brooklyn, NY/Lafayette Educational Complex), and Patterson each scored five points in the first 20 minutes of the contest to lead the Peacocks.

Like a heavy weight boxing fight, the exchange of blows continued right into the second half as the teams went shot for shot, holding ties at 24-24, 27-27, 30-30, and 32-32. During the stretch of four ties, Portley got his shot going, knocking down eight consecutive points from two straight threes and a jumper at the top of the key. For the next six minutes, the Huskies went on a 12-0 run to take a 44-32 lead into the under eight minute media timeout. Out of the media break, the Peacocks put together a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 46-39, but the Peacocks could not get any closer than the seven point deficit in the game, falling to the Huskies, 62-47.

“We struggled to score late in the first half but we felt good that the game was tied at halftime,” added Dunne. “We came out scoring in the second half but we didn’t get any stops and as the second half went along, we weren’t scoring the ball and they were just a step quicker the entire half. They crushed us on the glass, they were quicker to the ball, they deserved the win and we have to regroup.”

Portley ended the game as the only Peacock in double figures, while Cavon Baker (Queens, NY/New Hope Academy [Md.] (Houston)), Griffin, Idowu, Patterson, Welton, and Wyche all scored five points a piece in the contest. Quinn Taylor scored three points, and Nnamdi Enechionyia (Springfield, VA/St. James School (Samford)) and Mamadou Ndiaye (Laurel, MD/Oakland Mills) added two points each for Saint Peter’s.

The Huskies were led by 6-11 big man, Josh Ibarra who posted a 16-point, 12 rebound double-double and Reveal Chukwujekwu who scored 13 points on the night.

The Peacocks road trip continues as the squad heads back east to take on national powerhouse, Maryland on Saturday, December 10 at noon.

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