Saint Peter’s drop season opener to Bryant at home
Opening the season at home in Jersey City, Saint Peter’s began their 2019-2020 season with a 69-44 loss to Bryant,
Saint Peter’s opened their 90th season of basketball on Wednesday, starting the long climb to a MAAC Championship. To start the 2019-2020 campaign, the Peacocks faced Northeast Conference member Bryant in the teams’ second-ever meeting.
Bryant came to Jersey City and defeated Saint Peter’s, 69-44, in the season opener for the Peacocks at the Yantelli Center. Saint Peter’s fell to 42-32 in openers since the 1946-1947 season with the defeat.
Both teams struggled early as neither team could not make baskets at the start. At the midway point of the first half, Saint Peter’s led but shot just 2-for-10 from the field. A positive was that the Peacocks held Bryant to 2-for-14 shooting to begin the game.
Bryant (2-2) began to find their stroke taking an 11-8 lead after Foussenyni Drame picked up his second foul of the half. Saint Peter’s Derrick Woods converted a three-point play to tie the game at 11 with 7:42 remaining in the first half. From that point on, Bryant began to dominate the remainder of the half. A 17-6 run to finish the first 20 minutes of play gave Bryant a 28-17 halftime lead. Saint Peter’s was plagued by poor shooting and dismal ball handling that led to a low scoring first half.
The Peacocks were led by Quinn Taylor, who scored six points in the first half. Hall Elisias scored seven points for Bryant as both teams had a cold shooting half (Saint Peter’s 6-25, Bryant 11-31).
Aaron Estrada started hot, scoring Saint Peter’s first six points of the second half. However, Saint Peter’s continued to struggle as no other player made a field goal until the Nazeer Bostick put one home at the 10:42 mark of the second half.
Meanwhile, Bryant continued wearing down Saint Peter’s (0-1), extending their lead to 20 with 11:48 left in regulation. The lead swelled to 53-27 after two consecutive Bulldog three-pointers as Bryant began to pull away. The Achilles Heel for the Peacocks was rebounding (a 53-31 Bryant advantage) and shooting (25 percent) that led to their first defeat of the season.
“I thought in the first half we were getting good looks but not making them,” said Saint Peter’s interim head coach Ryan Whalen. “When shots don’t go down sometimes, it’s deflating. As a young team (six freshmen), I think we need to learn how to work through that and we will.”
Quinn Taylor finished with 14 points for Saint Peter’s, while Derrick Woods grabbed 11 rebounds. Michael Green III scored a game-high 16 points for Bryant.
Saint Peter’s was playing without head coach Shaheen Holloway. The former Seton Hall guard was suspended three games before the start of the season for an alleged NCAA infraction that happened while he coached at Seton Hall.
Up Next For Saint Peter’s
The Peacocks travels to Rhode Island to take Big East powerhouse Providence on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on FS2.
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