Photo courtesy of Gamell Pascal.
By David Cordova
It is mid-January and teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference are starting out the second half of the season by playing some of the toughest games possible. St. Peter’s has been very successful in conference thus far, with a 6-3 record prior to last night’s game and Rider, their counterpart for the evening had a 5-4 record.
Both teams played each other previously last week on January 15th in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on the Broncs home court, where they walked out as the victors in that first battle, winning by six, 71-65. This second time around, it would be a tough battle for 40 minutes as both teams slugged it out until the very end.
St. Peter’s 56, Rider 51
The start of the game came out in Rider’s favor, as Xavier Lundy and Norville Carey brought them out to a 6-0 lead, with 17:04 to go in the first half. But then St. Peter’s Nick Griffin came out firing on all cylinders as he scored their first nine points of the game, all on three-pointers, to give them a 9-8 lead, with 15:12 left.
However, the Broncs continued to maintain control of the game, after threes by Jimmie Taylor and Kahlil Thomas gave them a 15-11 lead, with 11:58 to go. Throughout most of the half, the Peacocks struggled to make layups and the Broncs were able to make an assortment of fifteen-foot jumpers, as well as plenty of offensive rebounds.
Moments later, the Peacocks mounted a comeback and got within six, 26-20, with 2:30 left. But the Broncs would go on to lead at the half, 32-23. In the first half, Rider shot 53.6% from the field, while St. Peter’s shot 30.8%.
As the second half started, Rider continued to maintain control, as St. Peter’s continued to allow them easy access in the paint, which contributed to the Broncs leading by fourteen, 38-25, with 15:41 to go. But the Peacocks would not go down easily, as Cavon Baker and Trevis Wyche helped them cut the deficit to five, 43-38, with 10:09 to go.
The Peacocks played stronger in the second half as their momentum got them to within one, 45-44, on a layup by Quadir Welton with 5:14 to go, and took the lead, at 47-45, with a three-pointer by Baker, with 4:44 to go.
Although, Rider unraveled, they still managed to stay close in the game, as they trailed 50-48, with 1:12 to go. But a tip-in by Baker and four straight free throws helped seal the deal for the Peacocks.
Baker led St. Peter’s with 13 points and Griffin added 12 points. For Rider, Taylor led with 13 points, Lundy contributed 12 points and six rebounds and Carey had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.