JERSEY CITY, N.J. - In a hard fought game filled with tough defending, a caused turnover with less than 10 seconds in overtime by the host Peacocks gave Saint Peter's the 70-68 victory over the Marist men's basketball team. A tight game throughout, neither team was able to gain more than a seven point advantage.
The Red Foxes (5-17, 2-9 MAAC) were led offensively by sophomore Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) who registered 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Classmate Isaiah Morton (Vineland, N.J.) joined him in double figures with 11 points. Junior Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) led the team with seven rebounds and four blocks.
Both teams struggled offensively early on as the teams combined for just eight points and 3-of-9 shooting over the first five minutes of action. This trend continued as neither team was able to break into double-figures until the 8:11 mark of the first half when red-shirt junior Anell Alexis (Hillsborough, N.J.) took a Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) pass and laid the ball in close to the basket; Marist was ahead 11-8 at this point.
After Saint Peter's responded with a 5-0 run, the Red Foxes would register the longest scoring streak of the half with seven unanswered points over a 1:08 span from 6:08 to 5:00. Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was the offensive leader for Marist as he hit a three-pointer and slammed home a fast break dunk during the run.
Slowly, the Red Foxes extended their five point lead to seven, the highest margin of the game at 2:28 (23-16) and 1:11 (25-18).
A 4-0 Saint Peter's run closed the half with a score of 25-22.
At the break, Marist was outshooting Saint Peter's 36.4 percent (8-22) to 36.0 (9-25) from the field.
In the second half, the Red Foxes quickly re-asserted themselves on the offensive end as they sprung out to a seven-point lead again. Consecutive made jumpers by Kemp and Phillip Lawrence (Baltimore, Md.) gave Marist a 31-24 lead with 17 minutes to play in regulation.
The visitors held a lead for the next five minutes before a 5-0 run by the Peacocks tied the game at 37-37.
The game would remain a one-possession contest until Marist broke away with a 5-0 run of their own from 7:43 to 6:58 to turn a 43-43 score into a 48-43 score. A three-pointer from the corner by senior Dorvell Carter (Bronx, N.Y.) kick-started the short burst.
Saint Peter's shot its way back into the lead with a 9-3 run on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
The teams traded baskets down the stretch as Lewis netted Marist's final field to give the visitors a 60-59 lead with 1:42 to go. After a made jumper for SPU's Darius Conley at 1:23, Morton drove to the basket and drew a foul with under a minute to go. The point guard calmly sank both shots from the charity stripe to give the Red Foxes a 62-61 advantage. Blaise Ffrench tied the game for Saint Peter's at 62-62 with one conversion from the foul line at 18 seconds.
Unfortunately for Marist, Morton's three-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out and the game would have to be decided in overtime.
In extra time, two runs, a five-pointer by Saint Peter's initially and a six-pointer by Marist were the story of the first three minutes. Lewis netted four of the six points for the Red Foxes.
After a single SPU free throw tied the game a 68, the matchup would be decided in the final possession. Following a defensive rebound by Thomas with 28 seconds, the Red Foxes called a time-out to set up the possible go-ahead basket. With less than 10 seconds to play a cross-court pass from atop the three-point arc was intercepted by SPU's Chris Burke, who raced away for the game-winning breakaway layup.
For the game, Marist outshot Saint Peter's 46.9 (23-49) percent to 43.8 (28-64) from the field, though the Peacocks registered a 53.3 (8-15) percent from three-point range versus 25.0 (5-20) for the Red Foxes. Marist converted 85.0 (17-20) percent of its foul shots in comparison to 46.2 (6-13) for Saint Peter's.
The Red Foxes will complete their weekend of MAAC play with a home date with Rider on Sunday, February 3. Tip-off versus the Broncs is scheduled for 2 p.m.