Music blasted throughout the quad as people danced with food in their hands, waiting for the arena’s doors to open. There were almost no empty seats in the Yanitelli Center yesterday night. As the final seconds continued to wind down, the crowd continued to get riled up and stomp their feet against the bleachers. At the sound of the buzzer, the fans roared and the cheerleaders ran onto the court as the Peacocks humbly shuffled into a line to shake their opponents’ hands.
The Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team notched a 20-point win over Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, 77-53, on Nov. 29 in the team’s first home game of the season. With the win, their record improves to 3-3, winning three out of their last four games.
Graduate guard Nick Griffin led the team with a team-high of 19 points. The guard was followed by junior forward Samuel Idowu with 16 points, graduate forward Nnamdi Enechionyia and freshman guard Elijah Gonzales with a pair of 12 points and redshirt junior Davauhnte Turner who recorded 11 points.
Saint Peter’s took the early 2-0 lead with a quick layup three minutes into the game. They began to trail for a bit at 9-4, but Gonzales cut the deficit with a three-pointer and Griffin knocked down a mid-ranger to tie it up at 9-9.
The two teams went back and forth, tying at 11-11, but Turner took a putback dunk to the rim after a missed shot by junior guard Jeremiah Livingston, putting the Peacocks in a 13-12 lead.
The contest would tie up again at 16 and 18, which would be the last time Fairleigh Dickinson would have an edge over the Peacocks before Gonzales got a touch on the ball and knocked down a shot in the paint.
The Peacocks erupted with an 8-0 run, thanks to baskets from redshirt sophomore Cameron Jones, Griffin and Idowu, leading to a 10-point lead and an eventual 33-27 advantage heading into halftime.
Enechionyia and Idowu exploded during the second half with four made shots from behind the arcs, extending the Peacocks’ lead to 46-29. Turner continued the offensive game, going 50-29, with an easy layup and spin-off two pointer. The Knights slowly cut down the deficit to 12 points before Turner and Griffin put the Peacocks back up 18 with 62-44 on the board. Sophomore guard Quinn Taylor, Jones and Enechionyia hit a few more shots to lock in their third win of the season.
Saint Peter’s seeks to extend their winning streak on Saturday, Dec. 2, when they head to Elon, North Carolina for the first time in program history to face off against the Elon Phoenixes. Tip-off will begin at 7 p.m..