Peacocks strut to fourth straight win, knock off Siena 77-65

Quadir Welton (35) scored 14 points in the win. (Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Quadir Welton (35) scored 14 points in the win. (Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ – Nick Griffin (Rockville, MD/Col. Zadok Magruder (George Washington)), Samuel Idowu (Brooklyn, NY/Lafayette Educational Complex), Antwon Portley (Lancaster, TX/Lancaster), and Quadir Welton (Philadelphia, PA/Math, Civics and Science Charter) all scored in double figures for Saint Peter’s men’s basketball in a 77-65 Thursday night victory over Siena College in Jersey City. Idowu and Welton scored 14 points each, while Griffin and Portley scored 12 points a piece. The 14 points for Idowu was a new career-high for the sophomore forward. The Peacocks are riding a four-game win streak and move into a tie for first place with its 6-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) record.

“I’m just really proud of our guys,” said head coach John Dunne. “It wasn’t pretty there in the second half with all the fouling going on, but we hung on to win. We made some big plays when we had to. The one thing we didn’t want to do is foul them and give them a lot of points at the foul line, and unfortunately that is what we did, but we feel really good that we held on in a grind game and beat a really good team. I know they were missing one of their best players but them other seniors showed up to play. I know they haven’t had success here and were sick of hearing that. I thought they had really good energy as a group and we just feel fortunate to get out with a win.”

The Peacocks began the game on a 7-0 run sparked by an Nnamdi Enechionyia (Springfield, VA/St. James School (Samford)) three-pointer. The Peacocks continued the run, getting out to a 14-2 advantage, powered by Welton’s six points (14:19). Siena cut into the Peacock lead, getting the score to 16-11, by the 10:30 minute mark. After a three-minute scoring drought, Cavon Baker (Queens, NY/New Hope Academy [Md.] (Houston)) hit back-to-back threes, sparking a 19-5, Peacock run over the next five minutes, leading to Saint Peter’s largest lead of the night at 19 points after Idowu hit a three to beat the shot clock with 5:27 left in the half. Siena answered, closing out the half with a 14-6 edge to bring the halftime score to 41-30. The Peacock bench scored 23 of the teams 41 points in the first frame led by Idowu’s eight points and Portley’s seven points.

The Peacocks opened the second half with a made layup by Welton and consecutive three-point field goals by Griffin and Idowu to spark an 8-4 early run, extending Saint Peter’s lead back up to 15 points. The teams continued to go score for score and the Peacocks lead hit 15 on three separate occasions until the 11:48 mark when a Baker made three-point basket made the score 63-48. Siena would go on a 7-0 run to cut the Peacock lead under 10 points at 63-55 with nine minutes on the clock, but Saint Peter’s continued its hot three-point shooting as Portley drained a trifecta to extend the lead back over double figures (68-57) with 6:24 remaining. The Peacocks used strong defense to close out the night, holding Siena to just one made field goal for the final seven minutes of the second half.

The Peacocks shot over 47 percent from the field and over 42 percent from three-point land in the win offensively, and defensively, force Siena into 17 turnovers. Saint Peter’s bench outscored Siena’s bench, 37-8 on the night.

In addition to the four double-digit Peacock scorers, Baker scored nine points and Trevis Wyche (Neptune, NJ/Saint Peter’s Prep) scored six points and dished out a season high nine assists.

Siena was led offensively by Lavon Long who scored a game-high 17 points and Khalil Richards who added 16 points.

The Peacocks stay home for game two of a three-game home stretch against Niagara on Saturday with tip set for 2p.m. That game will be game four of the six games in 12 days, and seven games in 15 days period.

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